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  • Results of the Labour office controls to maintain effective Swiss wage protection in 2020

Results of the Labour office controls to maintain effective Swiss wage protection in 2020

09 June 2021

Switzerland places a high importance in the accompanying measures to combat undeclared work

In 2020, as in previous years, a high level of Labour inspections took place as part of the measures to act against illegal employment. This is highlighted in the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) reports 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.

The accompanying measures continue to be an important means of protecting wage and working conditions in Switzerland. On the one hand, they effectively protect gainfully employed persons from abusive Swiss wage undercutting and working conditions and, on the other hand, they guarantee fair competitive employment conditions for Swiss and European companies.

The implementation of the accompanying measures is enforced by the cantonal tripartite commissions (for sectors without collective labour agreements) and by the cantonal joint commissions (for sectors with collective labour agreements GAV).

In their 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:

  • 132'000 persons and 34'126 companies (compared to 160'000 persons and 41'305 companies in 2019) were inspected by the cantonal joint and tripartite commissions
  • 6% of all Swiss employers, 30% of all posted workers and 30% of self-employed service providers from the EU/EFTA were inspected
  • A slight decrease in control volume compared to the previous year
  • Of the 4'862 self-employed service providers inspected,  8% were suspected to be bogus self-employed
  • A slight decrease in wage undercutting among posted workers (-2%) from 15% to 13% compared to the previous year.  
  • A slight increase (+2%) in wage undercutting among Swiss employees from 10% to 12%

The fight against undeclared work at a stable level

The Federal Law against undeclared work protects the interests of employees and combats distortion 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 inspections are carried out by cantonal inspection bodies. In addition to carrying out controls, the cantonal inspection bodies also perform coordination tasks. Any violations and suspected cases reported to the control body are forwarded to the competent special authorities, such as the social security or tax authorities for detailed clarification.

The results of the controls on undeclared work in brief:

  • In 2020 a total of 10'345 companies were controlled
  • Controls were mainly made in the main construction and ancillary construction trades, in the hotel and restaurant industry and in the retail trade
  • Overall in Switzerland, 10'716 suspicious cases of undeclared work were reported
  • Following the inspections, the cantons received around CHF 1 million in fees and fines