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Old 17.01.2008, 14:34
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Working conditions/RAV calculation for unemployment pension/ quiting job

This is an hypothetical question of an hypothetical situation of this person that i have just met.....

So, lets imagine a person with an B-EU permit arrives in Switzerland and works for 3 years. For budgeting purposes, lets imagine she earns 50k CHF/year After 3 years, she leaves her company starts to collect unemployment. 3 months after, this person eventually find a job. Her salary is now 75k/year. After 18 months of hard labour, she starts to consider quiting her job. If she just quits, she is aware she will be penalized with a 3month delay on collecting her money. Nevertheless, she wants to do it.

Questions are - how would be the unemployement pension calculated? Is it prorated? is it an average of her 2 combined last salaries? is the the last few salaries she earned? Would there be any chance that she wouldn't collect her money at all?


Which lead us to the second part of the question - of course this person would not be taking such drastic measures if she didn't have very good reasons for doing so.
Lets just assume that in spite her resignation letter stating that she leaves due to personal reasons, the reality is somehow different. Off the record, this person will claim that she being put to an unbearable ammount of pressure, is forced to forced to commit to unreasonable deadlines. Mobbing is apparently a common practice in her working environment. She will also say that allegadelly her working conditions are very close to modern day slavery. In her 18months with the company, she was allowed to take a mere 10 days of vacations, for example. She might also addd that she is forced to work 20h long days on several weekends in a row, on distant countries, Lets just say this person has standard Swiss contract (42h, no overtime is paid, it refers to the OR).
For this person at the end of the day, it would be a matter of chosing the less bad alternative. Either she calls it a day while she has her health intact or stays and risks running into breakdown. Lets say the this could be plausible scenario, and she has already being on sick leave due to stress a few times. Although she has voiced her complain to HR in several occasion, they are unavailable to comment and still pondering on what actions to take.

Questions are - is there any legal mechanism in Switzerland to protect the employes from these sort of abuses? How to activate it? Would these circumstances be considered relevant when hypothetically building her case for the RAV? What would be the best way to document this whole situation?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Last edited by lucy_sg; 17.01.2008 at 14:36. Reason: formating issue
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Old 17.01.2008, 14:43
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Re: Working conditions/RAV calculation for unemployment pension/ quiting job

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Mobbing is apparently a common practice in her working environment.
I think this is something which can be pursued, as it is against the law, but might not excuse the person's decision to leave the job.
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Old 17.01.2008, 15:10
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Re: Working conditions/RAV calculation for unemployment pension/ quiting job

Hi there. If things are so hard the person should sick legal advice. Unfortunately I am not aware of a council or something where the person could look for help.

For RAV though cause I have been there:
1st: the compensation is estimated based on the last 12 months provided that one has been working for 24 months ( in one or more companies). I am not sure what happens if this is not 24 months. I think that one gets a slightly smaller compensation. And this may also affect the maximum time (in moths) that allowance will be paid. So if for example the person in the last 12 monts had a gross salary per month of e.g. 5000 CHF the allowance of RAV is 70% of that.

2nd: Clearly if you quit a job allowance maybe delayed from 1 to 3 months. In RAV they will not care that much why one has quitted- well mainly at the beginning they will care- but as long as one shows that before quitting and while in RAV is searching for a job thatn it is fine. The best thing is to be honest. With me this had worked fine. I had even not taken a job that was offered to me and after I explained the reasons- very simple ones...that the market was high enough and I would soon be able to find a much better job for my qualifications and if i would go to the offered job i would leave indeed in the probezeit- i was not penalized. Of course this is something that you are allowed maybe to do once and depends on the person with whom you speak in RAV every month. But my advice is to explain orally the real reasons-perhaps in a smaller degree than really are- and try to convince them that you (or the person in question) is looking for something slightly different.

Hope this helps.
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Old 17.01.2008, 15:41
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Re: Working conditions/RAV calculation for unemployment pension/ quiting job

Aside from RAV it's Unia that actually pay the money out and them that you have to convince you had legitimate grounds for leaving.

They'll ask for a written explanation, then they'll ask HR from your old employer to verify it. If you stick to facts you should be fine, e.g. 10 days holiday in a year is a fact that can easily be verified. Less is more here, also keep records of any contact you had with HR complaining about the situation.

Back to RAV: As long as they see that you are genuinely looking for work they're not the meanies everybody makes them out to be. I found my RAV officer to be very helpful.
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Old 19.03.2008, 17:29
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Re: Working conditions/RAV calculation for unemployment pension/ quiting job

http://www.travailsuisse.ch/de/start has a branch in Zurich
http://www.travailsuisse.ch/de/node/977

I am not sure they can help but if you call they are sure to know who might. Also, they are a high level organisation but oversee other unions, maybe of of those unions listed here is of relevance to your post?http://www.travailsuisse.ch/de/organisation/verbaende

Either way, there must be organizations that help people in the situation you describe. There is one here, but it is not free. http://www.binational.ch/en/beratung/zurich.html
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Old 19.03.2008, 20:01
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Re: Working conditions/RAV calculation for unemployment pension/ quiting job

There are 2 different agencies involved in unemployment benefits.

1. The RAV. Their focus is on helping you obtain employment. This can include additional training, language courses, etc. The RAV officer verifies your job hunting efforts and gives you the unemployment claim form. This you fill in and submit monthly to the ALE-Kasse.

2. The ALE-Kasse (Arbeitslossenkasse). They are the insurers. They compute the benefits and pay these monthly. There are several Kassen. You can choose almost any. One restriction is you must stay with the chosen Kasse, unless you shift domicile. Unia is big, competent and well organized. You can go there and get advice.

If you quit your job, then the RAV officer can impose penalty of waiting up to 60 working days, till benefits are granted. The officer has the discretion to decide the latency (minimum is 5 days). You may be able to persuade the officer to shorten the wait by explaining the special circumstances.

If you are heading for the described situation, then do the following.
1. Begin applying for jobs immediately, i.e even before quitting. Meticulously document every single application. Submit at least 2 job applications weekly. Going to the first RAV interview with a thick dossier of applications would help reduce the waiting period.
2. Also meticulously document the mobbing situation. Documentation must include copies of complaint letters and eMails, which you write to your supervisors and the HR department. This will lend credibility to your explanation why you quit.

Like others have written in this Forum, the RAV officers are competent, helpful and friendly. Of course, they expect the job seekers to be genuine, cooperative and earnest. The RAV officers also know what working conditions prevail where and have their sources to formally and informally verify claims.

Good luck!
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