The importance of accompanying measures and the combat against illegal workers
22 June 2020
In 2019 a considerable number of labour controls were performed. As part of the measures to act against illegal employment, the number of companies controlled remained constant and the control of individuals decreased slightly compared to 2018. This is highlighted in the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) report on the implementation of the accompanying measures on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the EU and the enforcement of the Federal Act Against Illegal Employment.
Accompanying measures on the Free Movement of Persons
The accompanying measures are an important means of protecting wage and working conditions in Switzerland. It effectively protects gainfully employed persons from Swiss wage undercutting and abusive work conditions. The measures also guarantee fair and competitive conditions for Swiss and European companies.
During the labour control activities, the enforcement bodies apply a risk-based strategy to combat non-compliance, where the risks are high.
The results of the accompanying measures in brief:
- 160'000 persons and 41'305 companies were controlled by the cantonal joint and tripartite commissions
- 8% of all Swiss employers, 29% of all posted workers and 32% of self-employed service providers from the EU/EFTA were inspected
- Decrease in control volume compared to previous year
- Decrease (-1%) of wage undercutting detected by controlled Swiss employers
- Increase in wage undercutting (+1%) and breaches of minimum wages (+1%) in controlled posting companies
- Of the 5'993 self-employed service providers controlled 8% were suspected of being falsely self-employed
- 57% of the mutual agreement procedures for Swiss companies and 84% for posting companies were successfully completed
- 73% of the wage undercutting was centered in the cantons of Zurich, Ticino and Geneva
- The focus sectors of construction, gastronomy, trade and business services (banking, insurance, real estate, information technology, research and development) were the most controlled
- 2'503 fines and 931 service bans imposed
The combat against undeclared labour is at a stable level
The Federal Law against undeclared work protects the interests of employees and combats falsification of competition between companies. As part of the measures against illegal employment, employers, employees and self-employed persons are monitored for compliance with the reporting and authorization requirements of social security, Aliens Act and withholding tax law.
The combat against undeclared work has been on the political agenda in Switzerland for decades and has become more established in recent years. SECO is the federal supervisory authority responsible for implementing the Federal Law against undeclared work. Cantonal inspectors carry out the checks and the cantonal inspection bodies also perform coordination tasks. Any violations and suspected cases reported to the control body are forwarded to the competent authority i.e. the social security or tax authorities for detailed clarification.
The results of the controls on undeclared work in brief
- A slight increase of company controls to 12'181 controls
- Checks on persons decreased by 5.8% to 34'965
- Controls were mainly made in the core construction and ancillary construction industries, in the gastronomy industry and in the retail trade
- Overall in Switzerland, there were 20% fewer possible cases of illegal employment work reported
- The cantons received around CHF 1.1 million in fees and fines
- 19% decrease in feedback from special authorities on measures taken and sanctions imposed on cantonal control bodies
- Social security law 736 cases (-20%)
- Aliens Act 2'012 cases (-18%)
- Withholding tax law 608 cases (-22%)
Our experts are happy to support you in the event of labour market inspections, in calculating individual minimum wage requirements and with further questions.