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  #41  
Old 21.07.2021, 15:02
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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So far I have always received an (automated) reply with "thank you for your application". Which should be ok as proof for the RAV?
Smaller companies don't always have this. Some one person HR departments don't say anything at all!
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  #42  
Old 21.07.2021, 15:04
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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Generally speaking, for as generic of a situation as possible, what resources does a person in Switzerland have to legally understand what the RAV (or the insurance company behind them), is allowed to do or not do?
Strict answer: Bundesgesetz über die obligatorische Arbeitslosenversicherung und die Insolvenzentschädigung
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  #43  
Old 21.07.2021, 15:04
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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He didn't insinuate that. He explained right afterwards that he was giving a ridiculous example, presumably in order to convey the sentiment he feels about the actual request he received, in the absence of detailing the actual request. I would say it's clear from his post that that is not the request he received, hence him including "ridiculous example".
Ah sorry, I missed that point - was a rather long post. Thanks for clarifying.

I had a friend who provided me his CV to personally give to my HR team, this friend gave my name to his RAV person as an "application". He stated that they may call me to confirm, nobody ever did. I believe there are a variety of ways to show proof of job applications to RAV, mainly the email confirmation sent just after submitting one. Not sure how it works with smaller companies ...
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  #44  
Old 21.07.2021, 15:11
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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Generally speaking, for as generic of a situation as possible, what resources does a person in Switzerland have to legally understand what the RAV (or the insurance company behind them), is allowed to do or not do?

It is highly regulated and the information is available on their websites and you should have been provided with a good dossier of information to read when you applied, and if you were in Canton Zurich you probably also had to do a training programme online... not sure if that's common to all cantons....



As newtoswitz said, the regulations are very strict and clear.


It's not typical in Switzerland to run to a lawyer at the first sign of trouble. Instead, you are expected to be self-informed. However, if you want free legal advice there will be these services where you either have to call a number at a certain time, or turn up in person at a particular time.


If you are not completely fluent in the language of your RAV Office then you are normally expected to provide your own translator. If you are unable to access the legal information yourself (due to lack of language skill) then your first point of call should be a translator/interpreter who is familiar with the system.



Whilst you may not want to put specific details on the forum, 'acting strangely', as I said, is not a reason to grab immediate legal advice, because it is so exorbitantly expensive and unlikely necessary.


One power that you do have, and your RAV office or their website should be able to tell you how to do this, is to request a new advisor if you are unhappy with your current one.
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  #45  
Old 21.07.2021, 15:23
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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So far I have always received an (automated) reply with "thank you for your application". Which should be ok as proof for the RAV?
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Smaller companies don't always have this. Some one person HR departments don't say anything at all!
Not terrribly complicated, really. You list the application on the monthly form as open if you haven't received an answer/rejection by the time you hand it in...

... you can always show the belated response if questioned by the RAV whenever they expose you to their tender mercies
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  #46  
Old 21.07.2021, 15:42
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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Hello everyone,
Thank you for the comments.


Please don't try to read into the situation too much, especially not based on previous posts.


I'm just asking how the system works here, not ranting at all.

I'm trying to figure out where to turn for legal advice, but not expecting forum member to give legal advice.

Generally speaking, for as generic of a situation as possible, what resources does a person in Switzerland have to legally understand what the RAV (or the insurance company behind them), is allowed to do or not do?

If someone could point me in the right direction as to who to turn to, that would be wonderful. I don't want to rant here or bash the system or anything, just trying to understand the "rules of the game" and who the referee's are if I have questions about the rules.

Any help in this regard would be much appreciated.
For more specific advice regarding your own position, your RAV advisor has to be the best resource available to you.
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  #47  
Old 21.07.2021, 16:26
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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For more specific advice regarding your own position, your RAV advisor has to be the best resource available to you.
You don't seem to understand. The OP's advisor is acting strangely and with all sympathy to those involved, it's a mystery why. The only valid solution is a good lawyer - paid by the commune/canton/state, of course
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  #48  
Old 21.07.2021, 21:48
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

For clarity, the premiums (your and your employer's payments during your employment) are collected by the same federal body that collects the 1st pillar premiums (AHV/IV/EO). The RAV has controlling (policing, as you call it) function, but it should also help you with finding a new job. The ALK serves as "point/agent of payout" for the insurance payout, based on the data provided by the RAV.

AFAIK the only choice available in the entire process is the ex-employee's choice which ALK is to handle the payouts. The employer has no choice to make, once you're unemployed they're out of scope.
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My basic question is, if I'm not happy with how the RAV (police) is enforcing the terms and conditions of the ALV (legislation) to whom can I turn for legal advice?
If you're not happy with a RAV decision, request a "Verfügung", a formal decision in writing (or by e-mail, if so agreed) from your RAV person. It won't hurt to add the request in writing/e-mail after placing it verbally, so you can prove having requested one.

A Verfügung must contain
a) a title
b) the decision taken
c) reason(s), grounds
d) what law or regulation it's based on, and
e) how it can be challenged (the "RechtsMittel" [e.g. an appeal], appellate instance and the time limit)
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Does the Canton of Bern have a legal advice telephone number for this to give advice?
Generally, that should be the overseeing cantonal body. Usually called Arbeitsamt, or Wirtschafts- und Arbeitsamt, or similar. Berne has elected to use its right to an ExtraWurst and calls theirs Wirtschafts-, Energie- und Umweltdirektion.

Your first step is to request a Verfügung (it's your right, not a favor) from your RAV person.
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The danger is, if you do NOT know your rights, the RAV (same applies to police) can tell you literally anything and you will have to comply or risk the consequences, if you are not informed and equipped to fight it, even if it is untrue or not applicable.
Here, too, a Verfügung is the first step.

Last edited by Urs Max; 21.07.2021 at 22:04.
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  #49  
Old 22.07.2021, 01:23
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

Although the formal process is as you describe it, Urs Max, I'd say that it'd be preferable, before that, for OP to read up all the procedures so he can be sure whether or not the part that seems strange, to him, really is so.

Next, speak to the RAV officer to clarify, especially based on "what it says in this paragraph, here" and "this here", etc., how the matter should work, and whether there has been any misunderstanding. This, of course, with OP's own interpreter in the discussion, as needed.

Only then will OP be able to understand whether things are really not okay, as he thinks, or are just different from what he had expected.

Last edited by doropfiz; 22.07.2021 at 04:59.
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Old 22.07.2021, 07:21
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

I would also add that every communication that I had with my RAV advisor was followed up with a short email, either from me or from my advisor, to confirm what had been said and what I (or they) needed to do next.


It really is about self-advocacy - if you are not good at that, then ask around your connections (the forum is a good one) for someone who really 'knows stuff' - or is simply a very good communicator....


And yes, you should now have all the links you need to get started on finding the right information and support to work out your problem with RAV, whatever it is....



In my experience some cultures are much better at 'self advocacy' than others, some cultures/people have the first reaction to blame-shift, others to tantrum, others to avoid conflict, some to 'save face' and capitulate, and some are really good problem-solvers and self-advocates. In Switzerland, self-responsibility (Selber schuld = it's your own fault) seems to be the default position, and that is broad enough to include being self-informed, phoning a friend and self-advocating.... and if you can't self advocate, you take the advice of someone who is a local and understands the language and culture...



At least, that's my experience.
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Old 22.07.2021, 09:31
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

OP, if you left your last employer on good terms, and if that company has a "switched on" HR department, there's nothing to stop you approaching them, explaining the situation and asking for help/advice/a "sense check" on what it is you're finding strange?

Whilst I haven't been subject to the RAV process myself, there are many in my network who have. From my direct discussions with them over the years, I have noticed a clear theme for extra demands from the RAV of those folks who haven't been perceived as authentic and diligent in their job-searching efforts, so hopefully you haven't landed in that bucket...And for all of my expat network who've landed with the RAV, there's been a real sense of additional urgency and pressure once they've reached the 3-month unemployed mark - several of my contacts have made comments about the job searching police seemingly scrutinising every hour of every day to the extent that at least 4 of them wound up removing themselves from the process, choosing to live off savings whilst job searching at their own pace and approach.
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  #52  
Old 22.07.2021, 09:42
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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And for all of my expat network who've landed with the RAV, there's been a real sense of additional urgency and pressure once they've reached the 3-month unemployed mark - several of my contacts have made comments about the job searching police seemingly scrutinising every hour of every day to the extent that at least 4 of them wound up removing themselves from the process, choosing to live off savings whilst job searching at their own pace and approach.
That's terrible - certainly they should have a better approach. Mental health is already at a low during such a time, I can imagine that is sort of like pushing someone who is thinking about jumping. If someone shows a clear dedicated pursuit of employment, why in the world would they do such a thing?

Good luck OP, I hope you are not experiencing such treatment - just think of this time as a means to an end. With hard work, you will get to where you want to be. Take care!
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  #53  
Old 22.07.2021, 10:08
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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If you are not completely fluent in the language of your RAV Office then you are normally expected to provide your own translator. If you are unable to access the legal information yourself (due to lack of language skill) then your first point of call should be a translator/interpreter who is familiar with the system.
This seems not to be logical:

I am unemployed and don't speak a local language fluently and being unemployed don't have any money. How do I afford a translator in this instance ? If I don't and cannot understand the RAV person, do I lose my benefits and therefore have no income ?
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Old 22.07.2021, 10:10
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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This seems not to be logical:

I am unemployed and don't speak a local language fluently and being unemployed don't have any money. How do I afford a translator in this instance ? If I don't and cannot understand the RAV person, do I lose my benefits and therefore have no income ?
Ask a friend to translate, ask a friend if they know someone, ask here?

As for money, you do get money from the ALK?
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Old 22.07.2021, 10:11
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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This seems not to be logical:

I am unemployed and don't speak a local language fluently and being unemployed don't have any money. How do I afford a translator in this instance ? If I don't and cannot understand the RAV person, do I lose my benefits and therefore have no income ?
Do you have a friend or family member to take with you who speaks the local language?

I am not sure if this is still the case, but I have had several colleagues who took intensive language classes through RAV.
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Old 22.07.2021, 12:56
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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This seems not to be logical:

I am unemployed and don't speak a local language fluently and being unemployed don't have any money. How do I afford a translator in this instance ? If I don't and cannot understand the RAV person, do I lose my benefits and therefore have no income ?
So you think if you only speak a language or languages which are not recognised in Switzerland and not understood by a RAV worker that you should be supplied with a translator for free? It's an interesting concept. I suppose in such a case your chances of finding work would be limited and in the first instance you'd need help to learn a new language. However, of course, with English it's a blurred area. I've been to a few meetings where it was stated you must speak a local language or bring a stranslator and in fact after an initial period of shyness they all then willingly spoke to me in English. With the RAV it seems that the initial consulation is less likely to have an English speaker but the advisors are much more likely. It's also not unusual for some jobs to only require English for the language.
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Old 22.07.2021, 13:01
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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This seems not to be logical:

I am unemployed and don't speak a local language fluently and being unemployed don't have any money. How do I afford a translator in this instance ? If I don't and cannot understand the RAV person, do I lose my benefits and therefore have no income ?
In this case, the advice of Smileygreebins, above, to go back to a former employer if there is still some goodwill there, is really good. One could ask whether a former colleague or the HR department would be willing to help you for an hour or so, to make sure you've got things in order.

Alternatively, you might be able to find a free advice bureau, where there might be a social worker who could check your documents, and make sure you understand the steps to take. Sometimes someone from one of the church organisations (to which you can appeal irrespective of your own personal religion or spirituality) might be willing to help as a free translator. A neighbour or a friend will do, too. If you have children, then you could ask their teachers if they know of someone in the neighbourhood who speaks your language(s) and the local Swiss one, and might help. There are also neighbourhood help organisations, with volunteers. It can take a bit of work to find the right match, though.

The other translation option is to read, read, read what's available online, and run it through both google translate and deepl, as they give slightly different results. And then ask here on this forum, for help understanding specific parts that aren't clear, including instructions from the RAV advisor. Ask the advisor to give you those in writing, to ensure that you receive the message clearly.
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Old 22.07.2021, 13:16
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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That's terrible - certainly they should have a better approach. Mental health is already at a low during such a time, I can imagine that is sort of like pushing someone who is thinking about jumping. If someone shows a clear dedicated pursuit of employment, why in the world would they do such a thing?

Good luck OP, I hope you are not experiencing such treatment - just think of this time as a means to an end. With hard work, you will get to where you want to be. Take care!
I took smileygreebins to be talking about that uncomfortable extra pushing when it seems - at least to the RAV officer - that the person, even after 3 months of being unemployed, just doesn't seem to be making much effort to really find work. It's a difficult balance to strike, between feeling really low, and figuring out what could improve one's mental health, and finding the strength to put in the work to find work.

I knew someone who, while struggling to get out of bed in the morning, and to get out there and upgrade her skills and make all those applications, was told, rather roughly: "Job-seeking is a full-time job." That remark stung, but turned things around, for her. She told herself she no longer had to worry about this all the time, but only during office hours. In those, she persued whatever she could to improve her employment chances, and she gave herself a lunch break. She decided 8 or 9 hours a day was too much, but made herself do 6 or 7, and documented it all, so she'd know whom to call back, when. Her unemployment officer relaxed the pressure, immediately. Yet is was his blunt statement that had actually given her the push she needed to more effectively seek - and later find - a job.

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...I have noticed a clear theme for extra demands from the RAV of those folks who haven't been perceived as authentic and diligent in their job-searching efforts....
Yes, I concur. With few exceptions of plan bad service by the RAV officer, everyone I know who has been with the RAV gets better treatment in direct proportion to the amount of effort they demonstrate, in their job search.

Document everything, in a log-book / excel table, etc..
Naturally, the written applications, go on that list. But don't forget to document such things as, for example (with date and time)
  • the call you made to your former colleague from the job-before-last, to ask whether she knew of any posts in your field,
  • 2 hours and 20 minutes that you spent in an online forum related to your work, asking for advice about improving your employability
  • the online course that you then enrolled in, based on that advice, and how many of the n tutorials/modules you have now completed, using y minutes per day on four days a week
  • 50 minutes you spent doing homework to improve your local language skills, on 2 days that week, and 20 minutes on another day, plus the 90 minute lunch with your brother-in-law (with whom you usually speak English) specifically for him to help you practice your conversation skills in the local language
  • 30 minutes per morning, on 2 mornings a week, reading online job ads
  • 3 hours in the [university?] library reading instructions/courses/journals, to keep your knowledge up-to-date
  • 3x 30 minutes homework from the course that the RAV sent you on
  • 90 minutes enquiry to see whether any of your skills/education from abroad could be processed/upgraded by some modules, so as to obtain a new Swiss cerfiticate/qualification.

If you can show that you are making every reasonable effort to find a job, working for at least several hours on this every day, Monday to Friday, then you are much, much less likely to be mercilessly pushed by the RAV officer.

Last edited by doropfiz; 22.07.2021 at 13:42.
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Old 22.07.2021, 14:15
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

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So you think if you only speak a language or languages which are not recognised in Switzerland and not understood by a RAV worker that you should be supplied with a translator for free? It's an interesting concept. I suppose in such a case your chances of finding work would be limited and in the first instance you'd need help to learn a new language. However, of course, with English it's a blurred area. I've been to a few meetings where it was stated you must speak a local language or bring a stranslator and in fact after an initial period of shyness they all then willingly spoke to me in English. With the RAV it seems that the initial consulation is less likely to have an English speaker but the advisors are much more likely. It's also not unusual for some jobs to only require English for the language.
RAV is a process to assist unemployed people into work. its a formal, government backed process. When you are designing processes that will be used in public or business situations like this, you cannot have steps like "try and ask one of your friends" because if your person doesn't have any friends or family that can help and so RAV wont pay him, he will likely fall into serious financial trouble and possibly worse. If someone is unable to speak the language but cannot find a replacement then the government (or the public funding body) should provide a translator, as happens in other countries such as the UK.

Taking the approach of "well you should learn french or you cant have any money" is an absurd statement. If they can't speak french when they arrive at hospital accident and emergency would you similarly leave them to fend for themselves ?

RAV is a government service. its not a "only if you speak nicely" service. it has a duty to provide citizens who have paid into the scheme with their unemployment compensation while they look for work.

Last edited by keyboardandmouse; 22.07.2021 at 14:31.
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  #60  
Old 22.07.2021, 16:42
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Re: RAV acting strangely, legal resources?

I agree it could be in the interest of the system to provide translators if that helps the candidate to find a job sooner. However I am not sure they, as a Government office, have an official duty to do it.
Even if we tend to give English for granted across Europe and beyond, every state has one or more official languages and this clearly sets some boundaries to what is offered.

I have often heard of RAV paying for language courses; this takes longer but also increases the chances of finding a job.

I imagine myself unemployed in Japan, asking them to give me a translator and help me finding an Italian-speaking job...
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