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Old 08.03.2010, 13:57
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New To Switzerland- Should I Negotiate?

Hi All,

I don't want to bore you with another thread from an uncertain new comer! However I'd appreciate a little advise on how things are done in Switzerland.

I have just been offered a job in Basel. Fantastic!

The salary offered seems "OK", based on a favourable exchange rate and a limited knowledge of teh swiss market
Additionally they have offered Relocation expenses, 3 day visit, and language lessons.

My question is: In Switzerland is it expected that you negotiate a good offer or is it just not done? And would this create bad feeling?

I note that things like medical insurance are not included- is that usual?

My usual attitude is that you never settle for the first offer, but I am also aware that different countries have different attitudes- especially on a subject such as salary!

Any advise would be great.

Thanks
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Old 08.03.2010, 14:16
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Re: New To Swiss- Should I Negotiate?

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Hi All,

My question is: In Switzerland is it expected that you negotiate a good offer or is it just not done? And would this create bad feeling?

I note that things like medical insurance are not included- is that usual?
You can negotiate depending on the business and what sort of skills is needed.
If you start as a painter or mechanic, there is probably not much room to negotiate.

Health insurance is never included unless you work for an insurance company.
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Old 08.03.2010, 14:18
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Re: New To Swiss- Should I Negotiate?

I think it is okay to take an offer if it is fair. I don't think squeezing an employer is necessary in every situation. Just my two cents...
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Old 08.03.2010, 14:18
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Re: New To Swiss- Should I Negotiate?

Tell us your job and salary and we could maybe give you an idea if the offer is a good one.

On top of your medical insurance expect to pay about one sixth of your salary altogether in State Tax, Canton Tax and City Tax. These vary considerably and you might pay a bit less or a bit more, but as you are new you will almost certainly have to live for the first 5 years in Basel.

Search here for the things you need to know!
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Old 08.03.2010, 14:31
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Re: New To Swiss- Should I Negotiate?

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The salary offered seems "OK", based on a favourable exchange rate and a limited knowledge of the swiss market
Additionally they have offered Relocation expenses, 3 day visit, and language lessons.

My question is: In Switzerland is it expected that you negotiate a good offer or is it just not done? And would this create bad feeling?
Forget about the exchange rate. If you live, work, are paid and taxed in Switzerland, then it's how much you are paid in respect to how much it costs to live here you should be interested in.
The relocation etc are standard, and you'll be needing those German lessons!

You can negotiate only if you are in a strong position, and that's up to you to judge.
Certainly do not worry about any potential bad feeling. Once you accept the job, you have lost any negotiating possiblities, so if you do it, do it now. The moment you walk in the door, anything that has gone before is forgotten.
Is this a new, new job, or are you being relocated from another site?
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Old 08.03.2010, 15:58
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Re: New To Swiss- Should I Negotiate?

Thanks for the responses so far.

It's a new company and my first job in Switzerland.

the salary is 120K SF for a Pharma company in a "middle manager" (no direct staff) type position in the supply chain.

I'll be moving with my wife

I've estimated 30% deductions for tax, NI and pension etc.
I'm estimating rent at 2,000 per month

I don't really know about general other costs of living

Or if that will be enough each month to also be able to save a few dimes!

so I guess I'm saying is 120K considered a decent salary over there?

Thanks
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:01
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Re: New To Swiss- Should I Negotiate?

you'll be fine. Many live on much less
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:24
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Re: New To Swiss- Should I Negotiate?

If you're from UK moving to Switzerland, I would convert a Sterling wage into an equivalent Swiss one by multiplying by 2 e.g. a 60k salary == 120kCHF salary.

Re: negotiation - up to you, i always think it doesn't hurt to ask.
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:40
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Re: New To Swiss- Should I Negotiate?

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Thanks for the responses so far. It's a new company and my first job in Switzerland. the salary is 120K SF for a Pharma company in a "middle manager" (no direct staff) type position in the supply chain. I'll be moving with my wife. I've estimated 30% deductions for tax, NI and pension etc. I'm estimating rent at 2,000 per month. I don't really know about general other costs of living. Or if that will be enough each month to also be able to save a few dimes! So I guess I'm saying is 120K considered a decent salary over there? Thanks
It's a very decent salary indeed! We do tend to work longer hours, 40 to 45 is normal here. The "minimum" salary doesn't exist here but it is around 2'300 Francs per month when social security begin payments.

You shouldn't have any problems, but make sure you put away some of your salary each month to cover the unexpected bills. I expect you will be taxed at source though for the first 5 years.
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