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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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