• Implementation of accompanying measures, safety clause EU-2, quota situation

Implementation of accompanying measures, safety clause EU-2, quota situation

18 May 2017

Implementation of accompanying measures

On May 11th 2017 the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO presented the report on the implementation of the accompanying measures for the Free Movement of Persons 2016. The accompanying measures protect the work force from salary underpayments, abusive working conditions and ensure fair competition conditions for domestic and foreign companies.

The essentials in brief:

  • The control intensity relating to the accompanying measures for the Free Movement of Persons (FMP) remained high in 2016. The control bodies audited the wage and working conditions in around 42,000 companies for 164,000 employees in all regions and industries. Thus, approximately 7 percent of all Swiss workplaces were inspected during the year.
  • The review of Swiss companies, done by tripartite commissions (for the sectors without an overall collective labour agreement - CLA), found that 12 percent of the controlled enterprises were paying under the minimum wage benchmarks. The joint commissions (for branches with CLA) carried out 10'296 inspections in total.
  • Some 7'444 inspections (18'432 individuals) of foreign service providers from the EU countries were carried out by the joint commissions. A violation of wage regulations was found in about a quarter of the cases, resulting in more than 1,400 penalties. The tripartite commissions controlled 5'667 deploying companies (13,599 persons). 16 percent of these controlled companies were found to have abusive wage conditions.

Appeal for the safety clause concerning employees from EU-2 countries (Bulgaria and Romania)

As of June 1st 2016 the full Free Movement of Persons for EU-2 nationals is in force. In the FMP, a safety clause was defined which allows Switzerland to re-introduce quotas for a limited period if a certain threshold is exceeded. Between June 2016 and May 2017, the threshold was significantly exceeded for the granted residence permits B. Due to this fact, the residence permits B will now be limited to 996 units during the next 12 months and released quarterly. For the short-term residence permits L the prerequisites of this safety clause are not fulfilled, L-permits can still be applied for without a limitation.

Quota for service providers from EU/EFTA states

  • Service providers of EU/EFTA countries:
    The quotas for service providers (assignees) not falling under the free movement of people agreement are released on a quarterly basis. The next release will be effective as of July 1st, 2017. Presently there are still quotas left for the 2. quarter of 2017.   
  • Non-EU/EFTA nationals
    Part of the quotas for non-EU/EFTA nationals is distributed to the cantons according to a defined criteria. The remainder of the quotas rests within the Federal Reserve and the cantons may apply for further quotas if their initial provision is exhausted. The quotas (L and B) for non-EU/EFTA nationals are fully exhausted for the year 2017. First Federal Reserve quota requests from several cantons have been approved.
  • Croatian nationals:
    Additional quotas apply for Croatian nationals during a transitional period until the full Free Movement of Persons will be in force in 2024. The quotas are released quarterly and the total amount shall be increased yearly. The quota for residence permits B is already exhausted for the 2. quarter of 2017. There are still quotas available for short-term residence permits L.