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Old 28.04.2009, 10:37
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Negotiating your salary package

Hi,

A question for the people working in Zurich- especially in Finance.

In Australia, I had a number of 'perks' included in my salary package, such as:
1. Travel to work
2. Health Insurance

Is it common for these things to be on the negotiating table here, when salary discussions are being held? The above are the main two things I'm interested in. Is there anything else I should be aware of, that's a common perk (and i'm too silly to have realised?)

Thanks for your help in advance!
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Old 28.04.2009, 10:46
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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Is it common for these things to be on the negotiating table here, when salary discussions are being held?
I'm sure in these abundant times employers will be bending over backwards to offer free perks to prospective employees.
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Old 28.04.2009, 10:56
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

Health insurance - probably not.

Travel - is possible. I know quite a few folks that are getting 50% or 100% of their GA, Halbtax, ZVV Abo paid by the employer.
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Old 28.04.2009, 11:08
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

Ask also about your retirement plan (what insurance carries it, whether the employer top it). You might also want to know what are the compensation schemes they have for sickness, like sick days pay.
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Old 28.04.2009, 11:13
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

From what I heard and know:

1. Health Insurance or Medical Aid is always covered by employee in Switzerland who chooses it by himself/herself and pays on its own.

2. Travel/ Petrol Allowance can be negotiable but most of the employers prefer their employees to use a public transport and after a year one can get an Eco-Bonus reward for not using the motor vehicles.

The 13th cheque, child allowance and relocation costs reimbursment are other things that I would think of...

Last edited by jacek; 28.04.2009 at 11:31.
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Old 28.04.2009, 11:16
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

i agree with those above, a lot of places are trimming back on the 'perks'.

FWIW both of these are tax deductible if you make a tax return.
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Old 28.04.2009, 11:16
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

I know the market is bad. I've suffered the impact of the bad market through six months of unemployment. I just want to understand what's normal, and what's out of the question before I go into the room and talk about it.

Health insurance seems extraordinary- and mention of it might be a deal breaker. So I won't mention it. Asking if they'll pick up my travel expenses, or some of my travel expenses doesn't seem out of the question.

I'm just trying to be a little prepared ahead of time.
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Old 28.04.2009, 11:21
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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From what I heard and know:

1. Health Insurance or Medical Aid is always covered employee in Switzerland who chooses it by himself/herself and pays on its own.
I had one employer who paid health insurance, so you can get it. However, its not a huge advantage since you need to pay tax on it anyways. Company cars are not very common in CH, but if you're in a more senior mgmt position you might be able to get one.

In the current job market there might not be much room for negotiation anyways (UBS is just in the process of laying off 2'500 people across all levels in CH - they are all applying for finance jobs right now.... and they have work permits and often speak the local languages).
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Old 28.04.2009, 11:24
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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1. Health Insurance or Medical Aid is always covered employee in Switzerland who chooses it by himself/herself and pays on its own.
CH has a funny system. They divide insurances it into accidents and sickness. The employer pays for the accident part, meaning the insurance and whatever costs are derived from accidents (either during work or outside work). You pay for the sickness one.
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Old 28.04.2009, 11:25
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

I do not think you really "negotiate" travel expenses here... companies have policies and offer the same extras to employees according to stiff rules...just as you would expect it to be.
For example, up to now my employer pays my GA based on a policy, but just announces to stop this. Since it is not a right in my contract, looks like there is little I can do about it (or would in order to keep my job).
... so you can simply ask if there are other benefits offered by the company.
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Old 28.04.2009, 11:46
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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(UBS is just in the process of laying off 2'500 people across all levels in CH - they are all applying for finance jobs right now.... and they have work permits and often speak the local languages).
many of the 4500 CS people announced earlier will be hitting the market too!
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Old 28.04.2009, 12:12
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

I think you'll find the vast majority of companies/organisations will cover your accident (inc. non work-related) insurance and any subsequent related treatment (follow-ups, x-rays, physiotherapy etc), whereas you are obliged to organise your own, mandatory, health insurance.
My employer pays for my Halbtax, or 10% of my GA (depending which I choose), but that is company-wide policy.
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Old 28.04.2009, 14:40
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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Hi,

A question for the people working in Zurich- especially in Finance.

In Australia, I had a number of 'perks' included in my salary package, such as:
1. Travel to work
2. Health Insurance

Is it common for these things to be on the negotiating table here, when salary discussions are being held? The above are the main two things I'm interested in. Is there anything else I should be aware of, that's a common perk (and i'm too silly to have realised?)

Thanks for your help in advance!
Depends on your job and status.

In my first couple of jobs I got very little. Mind you, I was working for ABB who are not exactly renowned for their generosity to towards non managerial staff (the joke goes that ABB stands for "andere bezahlen besser"). Many friends in other companies did get train passes etc. What I did get was the opportunity of buying 1000 Franks worth of REKA cheques per year for 800 Franks and I used these as part of my GA payment.

What practically every company does offer you is a pension plan. The details can vary however so have them explain this to you.

I have recently been promoted to a low-level manageruial position. Whereas the cash salary sum payed out was only increased marginally, they did throw some extra perks. One of these is health insurance. This does save me a lot of money, but the downside is I cannot chose my insurer, and the insurance knows this and it shows in their flexibility. So obviously the cash equivalent would have been more welcome.

The other perk was entitlement to a company car. I didn't want this and they weren't prepared to convert it to the cash equivalent but after a bit of ping pong with the bean counters they did agree to pay me a 1st class GA, which still saves them and me a heap of money so we both ought to be happy. However, the ping pong didn't end there as the travel agency that should have bought me the GA messed up with the billing and the bill ended up being sent to my private address. The car leasing company said it wasn't their problem (despite previously assuring me they would handle it) and I had to explain the situation over and over again to about a dozen people who all thought it wasn't their problem but perseverance does pay off in the end. But again, the cash equivalent would obviously have been more welcome.
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Old 28.04.2009, 14:49
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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Health insurance seems extraordinary- and mention of it might be a deal breaker. So I won't mention it. Asking if they'll pick up my travel expenses, or some of my travel expenses doesn't seem out of the question.
They normally do pay your travel expenses when these are work related. So you are normally responsible for travelling from your place of residence to the place you work, but any onward travel from there such as visits to customer sites etc. is definitely expenses which your employer should pick up. The exact renumeration system may vary from company to company, but I doubt that you'll lose out on the deal.
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Old 25.07.2009, 22:51
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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From what I heard and know:

1. Health Insurance or Medical Aid is always covered by employee in Switzerland who chooses it by himself/herself and pays on its own.

2. Travel/ Petrol Allowance can be negotiable but most of the employers prefer their employees to use a public transport and after a year one can get an Eco-Bonus reward for not using the motor vehicles.

The 13th cheque, child allowance and relocation costs reimbursment are other things that I would think of...
Do employers pay the travels to the employees?
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Old 25.07.2009, 22:54
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

Is there any possibility of discussing, the employer to pay part of the rent for a foreign employee?
Or providing a house?
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Old 25.07.2009, 23:40
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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Do employers pay the travels to the employees?
some might do, but usually travel to and from work is tax deductible on your own tax return, assuming you make one. if you don't make a return (earn >CHF120k for example) you're stuffed!
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Old 25.07.2009, 23:45
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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Is there any possibility of discussing, the employer to pay part of the rent for a foreign employee?
Or providing a house?
there is always the opportunity of discussing it! in normal global financial circumstances this would be part of a relocation package. but companies are tightening things up a lot in CH so you have to balance how far to push for things you want with the potential employer finding that you are too expensive and to much hassle to deal with i.e. a potential problem employee.

you are going to have to give us a lot more details on what you have been through already for us to offer decent advise.
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Old 26.07.2009, 01:49
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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Do employers pay the travels to the employees?
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Is there any possibility of discussing, the employer to pay part of the rent for a foreign employee?
Or providing a house?
Judging by this and your other post, you haven't searched on here regarding the above, or even read this thread properly. You also seem to think that Switzerland is somehow immune to the market forces and restraints that are affecting other countries, and that the streets are paved with gold waiting for you.

I'm sure when you do get an area of CH you'd like to live in, and a job you want, with a company that wants to interview you, these things will become apparent as part of the hiring process, but in short, unless you are entering at a high level, in demand, or have skills the company is prepaired to pay to get..... no.
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Old 26.07.2009, 17:49
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Re: Negotiating your salary package

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Do employers pay the travels to the employees?
What travel are you referring to?

Travelling you do for the company and on business, for example visiting clients, is normally covered by the employer (but it is worth checking).

If you travel by train, plane or hired car, this is normally reimbursed based on the actual receipts you present.

If you use your own car there is a formula that calculates the reimbursement based on distance covered.

If you travel by company car, special arrangements normally apply but don't expect to get back more than your actual costs.

Travelling from your home to the place of work is your own responsibility and the employer doesn't normally cover this, although many employers make some contribution towards a public transport abo. Many companies, especially in bigger cities, will also charge you for using company parking spaces. So the incentive is very much towards using public transport.
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