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8 Things you need to know about Partial unemployment, Technical Unemployment and Loss of income

March 24, 2020


Partial unemployment means that your employer cannot keep providing you with a fulltime workload because of the economic slowdown related to the coronavirus.

Technical unemployment means that your employer had been forced to close shop and send you home but has to continue to pay your salary.



As an employer you can request assistance from the Social security institution to which you pay compulsory contributions for your employees, to cover 80% of the reduced part of your salaries. (for example if the reduction of the work provided is of 40%, then 32% will be provided by the Swiss authorities). This will be granted if several specific conditions are fulfilled. The form to make these requests is already available:

For more information:

This assistance applies to both partial and technical unemployment.



The conditions for applying for these indemnities is to establish that the loss of work fulfills all of the following conditions:

  • Is due to unavoidable economic factors;
  • The reduction caused by the economic factors is of a minimum of 10%;
  • There is a difference between the normal hours and the reduced hours;
  • The reduction is temporary and the assistance of the Swiss authorities would in principle allow the employer to maintain the employment positions which are threatened.



As an employer, two important facts to remember:

a) You are obliged to pay the employee the total salary for the percentage of work actually done plus 80% of the work time which could not be provided due to unavoidable economic factors. (E.g if your employee works full time and you can only provide them with a 60% position, you will need to pay him/her for the actual work done i.e. 60% and 80% of the balance 40%, i.e. 32%)

b) If you do get assistance, i.e. the 32% in the example above, you will still need to pay the employer social security contributions on 100% of the salary.



For executives of SMEs, the Swiss authorities will also provide assistance

However, the relevant Ordinance of the Swiss Federal council has fixed the ceiling of the relevant income of an executive working full time at CHF 3320. This implies that the maximum that can be received by an executive who has had to close his business would be 80% of this amount i.e. CHF 2656. The executive would however have to pay social security contributions on his total salary.

To apply, the executives need to apply to the institutions to which they pay their social security contributions with following forms:



For Independent persons, the loss of income insurance (“indemnités perte de gain”) will provide indemnities. These indemnities will cover 80% of the gross salary.

They need to apply to their social contribution institution to fill in the relevant form. Here are the links.



Parents who have children who are under the age of 12, can request daily indemnities for loss of revenue as of the 19th March 2020 for a maximum period of 6 months because of the schools, crèches being closed if they have no other solution to take care of their kids.

These indemnities will not be due during the school holidays unless it can be proven that the parents were supposed to work and that the children were supposed to be taken care of by grandparents, in a holiday camp or holiday activity which was cancelled.

However, this daily indemnity cannot be cumulated with the indemnities already claimed for partial or technical unemployment or as an independent.

The links to apply for these indemnities are the same as for point 6 above.


8. Domestic employees 

For the moment, the partial unemployment benefits have not been accepted for domestic employees. However, this point is under discussion


If you need more assistance, we remain available by email or WhatsApp video conferences to assist you with your legal issues during these uncertain times.


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