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Old 31.03.2020, 14:01
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Unemployment Insurance/chomage for Directors (Corona)

I am the director of a very small enterprise (i.e. myself) which is itself a subsidiary of a slightly larger US firm. Due to the Corona virus both the US and Swiss offices are now insolvent. The US might stugglemon for a bit hoping to get COVID19 releif but this isn't possible in switzerland.



Some background, last week the company was about to be acquired and I was discussing relocation benefits if I move to their office in Zurich, the next day they terminate the acquisition and revoked any offer of employment. The acquisition was progressing well and we were days away form signing the terms and conditions so I had every expectation that everything would work out. Our other investors pulled out with Corona fears and since we ran the account close to the wire being a tiny startup about to be acquired, we now have no option. Thus leaving my up a creek without a paddle. Luckily no creditors and hopefully just enough cash reserve to cover legal fees.


However, as I understand it, directors of companies are not entitled to chomage in Switzerland, and I can't simply lay myself off or go on furlough as a director. I am working with an attorney but the process takes 1 year once notices to (non-existent) creditors are published. This puts me in a very difficult situation, no salary and no chomage despite paying the social insurances for 2.5 years. I still can't understand why rules would be in place to block directors who have been paying significant social taxes.


I know in some countries with similar rules regarding company directors, that these rules are being relaxed in light of the Corona virus. But I can't find any definitive answer if Switzerland is doing the same?



If not, what options do I have? I believe that somehow I can transfer control of the company to the attorney who can then relieve me of my duties, but my attorney seemed against this option. Perhaps because there is much more work involved and they know that the company has only minimal cash reserves.
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Old 31.03.2020, 14:12
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Re: Unemployment Insurance/chomage for Directors (Corona)

Sell the company to a broker. This has been discussed before. Someone who went through it recently updated their thread. Try searching.
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Old 31.03.2020, 15:43
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Re: Unemployment Insurance/chomage for Directors (Corona)

Thanks.
Won't using a broker require additional costs? It also likely become very complex because the swiss subsidiary is 100% owned by a US firm and they almost certainly don't want the subsidiary sold to a 3rd party which can reuse the company name.
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Old 31.03.2020, 16:15
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Re: Unemployment Insurance/chomage for Directors (Corona)

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Thanks.
Won't using a broker require additional costs? It also likely become very complex because the swiss subsidiary is 100% owned by a US firm and they almost certainly don't want the subsidiary sold to a 3rd party which can reuse the company name.
Just to clarify something, if you do not own any part of the subsidiary or the parent company, then you are simply an employee with the title of 'director', so you should not be subject to the normal rules for directors/owners of a company.
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Old 31.03.2020, 16:31
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Re: Unemployment Insurance/chomage for Directors (Corona)

The word 'Director' can have so many meanings. But I agree with above post, if you are not owner of the Company, you are an employee, and should be treated as such.

A young friend who owns a Company in the UK posted this today, a petition for support for small company Director/owners

https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliame...167-en-gb%3Av2
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Old 31.03.2020, 16:38
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Re: Unemployment Insurance/chomage for Directors (Corona)

Quote:
The word 'Director' can have so many meanings. But I agree with above post, if you are not owner of the Company, you are an employee, and should be treated as such.

A young friend who owns a Company in the UK posted this today, a petition for support for small company Director/owners

https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliame...167-en-gb%3Av2
UK small co directors have been taking the piss by paying themselves salaries of around 8500 a year so no National Insurance is payable but they get a full credit for NI & then pay the balance as a dividend. Avoiding Bothe employee & employer NI, I don't have any sympathy.
When I had a UK LTD co(1981-95) I paid full NI on all earnings & never took a dividend.
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Old 31.03.2020, 16:43
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Re: Unemployment Insurance/chomage for Directors (Corona)

If you are registered in the Swiss "handelsregister" (commercial register) then no, director is not just a title. However, I was in a situation many years ago where the company (of which I was a registered director) placed all staff temporarily on minimum work (2 days per month) due to extreme financial pressure and I claimed from RAV (Chomage) for a top-up. After some months of arguing they did eventually pay, although I don't know exactly the rationale - possibly because I was not an owner.
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Old 31.03.2020, 17:15
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Re: Unemployment Insurance/chomage for Directors (Corona)

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I am the director of a very small enterprise (i.e. myself) which is itself a subsidiary of a slightly larger US firm. Due to the Corona virus both the US and Swiss offices are now insolvent. The US might stugglemon for a bit hoping to get COVID19 releif but this isn't possible in switzerland.



Some background, last week the company was about to be acquired and I was discussing relocation benefits if I move to their office in Zurich, the next day they terminate the acquisition and revoked any offer of employment. The acquisition was progressing well and we were days away form signing the terms and conditions so I had every expectation that everything would work out. Our other investors pulled out with Corona fears and since we ran the account close to the wire being a tiny startup about to be acquired, we now have no option. Thus leaving my up a creek without a paddle. Luckily no creditors and hopefully just enough cash reserve to cover legal fees.


However, as I understand it, directors of companies are not entitled to chomage in Switzerland, and I can't simply lay myself off or go on furlough as a director. I am working with an attorney but the process takes 1 year once notices to (non-existent) creditors are published. This puts me in a very difficult situation, no salary and no chomage despite paying the social insurances for 2.5 years. I still can't understand why rules would be in place to block directors who have been paying significant social taxes.


I know in some countries with similar rules regarding company directors, that these rules are being relaxed in light of the Corona virus. But I can't find any definitive answer if Switzerland is doing the same?



If not, what options do I have? I believe that somehow I can transfer control of the company to the attorney who can then relieve me of my duties, but my attorney seemed against this option. Perhaps because there is much more work involved and they know that the company has only minimal cash reserves.
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