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  #1  
Old 13.10.2009, 12:17
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RAV - Unemployment - Translator

Hi All,
I went to my first appointment at RAV office in Zurich last Friday and I do have a new appointment with my career advisor next Friday. I have been told by RAV officials that I have to bring a translator (3 times). They will not speak English or Spanish or any other language than German. My level of German is ‘zero’ and the person who came with me last Friday was doing me a big favour as her English is not good and she did find very difficult to understand what Cash Management and Treasury means and to translate into English what the RAV employee was saying.
After I was relocated, my contract was terminated within eight months . I managed to get a four months contract which it is now finished. I am in a desperate need to secure my unemployment benefits and comply with all their requirements. I would love to be able to work but at 5 months pregnant, potential employer’s faces are more eloquent than their own words, and those words are painfully honest. I would like to know if there is anyone out there who speaks English or Spanish and German and would like to come with me to the RAV office this Friday 16th October in the afternoon. Please pm for more details if you are free.
Many thanks for reading this!
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Old 13.10.2009, 12:23
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

PM'ed you.
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Old 13.10.2009, 13:12
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

My understanding is you have to have 2 year track record of employment in Switzerland before you qualify for any benefits. Being pregnant and not speaking any German is a show stopper here, you will not get an offer, especially in the current economy. Does your significant other work? You may have an angle of being unfairly terminated due to become pregnant, you would need to talk to a lawyer for that. In any case, if you want a chance here you have to bring your German up to a functional level, took me about a year of evening classes twice a week.
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Old 13.10.2009, 13:24
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

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My understanding is you have to have 2 year track record of employment in Switzerland before you qualify for any benefits. Being pregnant and not speaking any German is a show stopper here, you will not get an offer, especially in the current economy. Does your significant other work? You may have an angle of being unfairly terminated due to become pregnant, you would need to talk to a lawyer for that. In any case, if you want a chance here you have to bring your German up to a functional level, took me about a year of evening classes twice a week.
If the OP has worked in the EU for the past 18 months (I believe that's how long...), along with Switzerland, then she does qualify for RAV benefits. And they'll also send her to free German classes to help her find a job.
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Old 13.10.2009, 13:41
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

I signed up with the Rav in Vevey (canton of Vaud) and had no issues with the language. The Rav were kind enough to give me a career advisor who speaks English, although at every visit he makes every effort for me to speak to him in French, which I do try, wherever possible. Seems that the language issue is subjective, perhaps depending on how many non-Suisse reside in the area.

Although I don't specifically get any benefits from the RAV, he believes I am entitled to French lessons, but that is dealt with in another department and I have to sit a test to see what standard I am at.

Albeit I am looking for work myself, the careers advisor has not actually given me any leads and simply says I need to look further afield. The one thing he did help me with was re-writing my CV in French.

Good luck with your appointment.
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Old 13.10.2009, 13:44
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

I guess I was lucky too - both officers I had spoke fluent English and took it as an opportunity to practice English with me.
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Old 13.10.2009, 13:53
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

It really is the luck of the draw. My officer couldn't speak a word of English, and I had to muddle through as best I could, yet I'd often hear other interviews going on in English.
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Old 13.10.2009, 16:08
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

Hi,

I am in a situation very similar to yours. However, just like happens in all cantons and all RAVs, be sure there is someone who speaks english or spanish working there. And hey, Italian is an official language in this country and it might be easier for you to understand italian than german. Try to demand an Engliah speaking person and remember to ask very politely. You don't want to get in their bad books.
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Old 13.10.2009, 16:13
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

Thanks very much, I do bear this in mind all the time as i do not want to present myself as a 'pushy' but understand my rights.
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Old 13.10.2009, 16:19
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

Hi All

It is the luck of the draw…. Well, I haven’t got much of a lucky start so far. The reason why they do not speak other language than German is because this is a German speaking country. (We all know that there are three official languages in Switzerland). I was told this in the RAV office, via a very kind person who translated for me into English when I went there first time. The HR Manager from my former company could not believe it and she called herself. She was told the same in addition to that no information would be giving to her under any circumstances unless she was there in the office with me. Once again, last Friday on my first appointment I was told again that this is a German spoken country and German will be the only language use to communicate with me. I do know that the official did understand English last Friday as in many cases she did not wait to update the database with the ‘necessary translation’.

Karl, you are absolutely right, my chances of getting a job at this current stage of my life are slim to null. By talking to head hunters, they are even reluctant to talk to me even before mid of next year. The only thing that I would like to achieve right now is know my rights; I might be able to have some benefits for few months until I am in a different/ not that obvious situation.
When I was let go from the employer who brought me here, I was not pregnant so there is no case there for unfair dismissal. I have not case there but thanks very much for the suggestion. It would have been really an achievement if I had managed to get pregnant them as I was working 10-12 hours every day.
I was asked for my resume in German and I told them that I could not provide my C.V. in German to employers and this would imply that I do have a domain of the language, which I obviously do not. I was given no room for negotiation in this topic either.
I will let you All how I’m getting on and If am able to find any info that it has not been posted here before. It is the luck of the draw I had never thought I had to look or depend on the luck.

Many thanks all for your comments and for sharing your experiences.
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Old 13.10.2009, 16:22
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

Did you tell RAV you are pregnant? As Karl said, you may have been wrongfully terminated in which case RAV will be able to help you with your rights.

What a pity you seem to have gotten such a rigid RAV advisor.

Good luck!
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Old 13.10.2009, 16:23
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

Maybe OT, but is it possible to change your RAV office ?? If you can, I'd suggest the one at Thalwil.
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Old 13.10.2009, 16:29
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

I go to the one in Fehraltdorf and the advisors are great there too. I do not think you can change your RAV location as this depends where you live but you can change the advisor if you have a valid reason... and not being able to speak the same language is very valid.

In a country where a quarter of the wokforce are foreigners, it is not asking too much to ask for at least an english-speaking advisor. I mean, come on!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 13.10.2009, 16:36
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

I did mention it to them but I don't really have to tell as it is becoming very obvious. It was not an unfair dismissal as I was not pregant at that stage. The second contract was a fix term contract so it was not an unfair treatment either.



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Did you tell RAV you are pregnant? As Karl said, you may have been wrongfully terminated in which case RAV will be able to help you with your rights.

What a pity you seem to have gotten such a rigid RAV advisor.

Good luck!
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Old 13.10.2009, 16:38
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

you are right Libellula, it depends where you live and not where you work or where you would like


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I go to the one in Fehraltdorf and the advisors are great there too. I do not think you can change your RAV location as this depends where you live but you can change the advisor if you have a valid reason... and not being able to speak the same language is very valid.

In a country where a quarter of the wokforce are foreigners, it is not asking too much to ask for at least an english-speaking advisor. I mean, come on!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 13.10.2009, 16:40
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

If you need someone to accompany you to handle the DE part, try asking Swissotter on the forum.
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Old 13.10.2009, 17:15
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

my wife is a simultanious translator student at ZHAW in winterthur and i am sure htere would be some students there wanting experience. if you pm me your contact details i will get her to put a notice on the msg board there today.

my wife speaks Spanish French German English Chinese.

SIDE NOTE: when we got married and recieved our family book the first langage on the back cover is English then German French Italian Romansch.
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Old 13.10.2009, 17:26
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

I was made unemployed in December last year after having worked in Switzerland for only 6 months. Having been through this here in Geneva, I can confirm you ARE entitled to unemployment benefits as long as you have worked and paid the national insurance/unemployment insurance contributions in another EU country for at least 12 of the last 24 months. They will require you to provide a form (called E301) which needs to be completed by the tax authorities in your "old" EU country to confirm that you made the correct contributions.

Have a look at this thread for more info:

EU nationals fired shortly after arriving in Switzerland ?
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Old 13.10.2009, 18:44
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

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Hi All

It is the luck of the draw…. Well, I haven’t got much of a lucky start so far. The reason why they do not speak other language than German is because this is a German speaking country. (We all know that there are three official languages in Switzerland). I was told this in the RAV office, via a very kind person who translated for me into English when I went there first time. The HR Manager from my former company could not believe it and she called herself. She was told the same in addition to that no information would be giving to her under any circumstances unless she was there in the office with me. Once again, last Friday on my first appointment I was told again that this is a German spoken country and German will be the only language use to communicate with me. I do know that the official did understand English last Friday as in many cases she did not wait to update the database with the ‘necessary translation’.

Karl, you are absolutely right, my chances of getting a job at this current stage of my life are slim to null. By talking to head hunters, they are even reluctant to talk to me even before mid of next year. The only thing that I would like to achieve right now is know my rights; I might be able to have some benefits for few months until I am in a different/ not that obvious situation.
When I was let go from the employer who brought me here, I was not pregnant so there is no case there for unfair dismissal. I have not case there but thanks very much for the suggestion. It would have been really an achievement if I had managed to get pregnant them as I was working 10-12 hours every day.
I was asked for my resume in German and I told them that I could not provide my C.V. in German to employers and this would imply that I do have a domain of the language, which I obviously do not. I was given no room for negotiation in this topic either.
I will let you All how I’m getting on and If am able to find any info that it has not been posted here before. It is the luck of the draw I had never thought I had to look or depend on the luck.

Many thanks all for your comments and for sharing your experiences.
Quite simply, it's cantonal so in French cantons you will probably speak French, in German kantons, German. You may be lucky and have somebody who speaks English in your area or not, there is no obligation of the canton to provide an English speaker, it is your responsibility to speak their language, after all you are taking their assistance.

Last edited by jrspet; 13.10.2009 at 18:46. Reason: Corrected perceived error - removed "German speaker" and replaced with "English speaker"
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Old 14.10.2009, 11:36
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Re: RAV - Unemployment - Translator

I am EU citizen but in 2006 i moved from Ireland to US from where i lived and worked. Therefore, I did not contribute in a EU country in the last 2 years. I think, from reading all the threads, i am really dependable of the 12 months total working time and contribution time here in Switzerland.




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I was made unemployed in December last year after having worked in Switzerland for only 6 months. Having been through this here in Geneva, I can confirm you ARE entitled to unemployment benefits as long as you have worked and paid the national insurance/unemployment insurance contributions in another EU country for at least 12 of the last 24 months. They will require you to provide a form (called E301) which needs to be completed by the tax authorities in your "old" EU country to confirm that you made the correct contributions.

Have a look at this thread for more info:

EU nationals fired shortly after arriving in Switzerland ?
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