International companies aiming to establish a foothold in Switzerland as part of their business expansion strategies, as well as the skilled workers they are looking to engage for a specific role, have two main legal payroll structures available.
In this post we present what those two options are and explain the processes and spotlight the main pitfalls and benefits.
International business expansion has come of age. What was once an unknown black hole for many HR leaders and business owners, has now become a normal way of engagement – both for company, and the workers they engage. We are referring to “remote work”. This phenonomen grew rapidly during the recent global pandemic and has now gone mainstream. And it is not only Generation Z that considers remote work a standard engagement choice. Today companies of all shapes and sizes recruit skilled workers across several generations to work remotely.
- Over 50 counties worldwide now offer independent entrepreneurs some type of “nomad visa” which allows them to stay in and work from their country for up to 1 or 2 years.
- There are normally several conditions attached (e.g. proof of revenue income, health insurances etc). and the tax situation is fragmented and varies from country to country. And this is mainly positioned to the independent worker.
- Interestingly, Switzerland does not offer the nomad visa as yet, but there are two legal structures available which do allow skilled workers to work remotely from Switzerland for International companies – thus creating a win/win for both the company and the skilled worker.
- In this post we explain the EOR or Employer of Record structure as well as the ANobAG model, which both make remote work from Switzerland possible, and we highlight the main points for consideration.
For international companies aiming to expand internationally, there are several considerations. Engaging a skilled worker who is already based in Switzerland and with a legal permit or visa secure, is surely the best way to start. It circumnavigates many time-consuming and potentially expensive obstacles. This as a pre-cursor to the fact that with both the EOR and the ANobAG, the worker will need to hold a valid work permit or Visa, for the company to engage them lawfully.
EOR or Employer of Record
Any company wanting to recruit staff or lease them as a contractor in Switzerland must work with a SECO licensed employment services company such as Swissroll GmbH.
- For the international company this is a good thing, as it is akin to having a personal business advisor in country, counselling on such things as employment rules & regulations, wage and vacation parameters, social protection, deductions and contributions. And a myriad of other employment-related subjects.
- Under this structure, the international company (referred to hereafter as the “client company”) agrees rates & terms with the worker who they wish to engage.
- The worker then signs an employment contract with an employment services company (e.g. Swissroll), which then becomes the EOR for the worker in Switzerland. The worker has a Swiss employment contract.
- At the same time, the employment services company then signs a supplier agreement with the client company to provide them with the worker (hereafter referred to as “the contractor”) to complete the mission or tasks outlined and at the rates the client company has agreed.
- Although all day-to-day management, target setting & reporting remain totally in the control of the client company, the employment services company (in this case Swissroll) acts as an outsourced HR position to complete tasks such as payroll management.
- There are several advantages for both client company and contractor and some of these are highlighted in the table below.
- It is common for the client company to submit a budget for a particular position which covers not only the salary payment and any bonuses agreed, but also takes care of the employer deductions required by Swiss employment law.
- This is usually a rapid way to engage a skilled worker once the person has been identified and terms are agreed. Swissroll is a fully SECO licensed employment services company and this has been one of our core business practices for over 20 years.
ANobAG – (German Acronym: Arbeitnehmer ohne Beitragspflichtigen Arbeitgeber > English (an employee without a contributory employer)
The ANobAG structure is very similar to the EOR, with one major difference: The worker is employed by the client company directly, and is responsible for setting up and managing their own social funds, insurances and private pension scheme. Swissroll offer the ANobAG service in an a la carte format broken down into two parts, namely: the set up and the monthly management.
- Similar to the EOR, the company agrees a gross payment amount for the services of the skilled worker. This is usually in a monthly format and can also include bonus payments and shareholder schemes.
- It is then up to the worker to research and agree terms for payment to the various social funds, obligatory insurances and private pension schemes. It is alone their responsibility to organise this as well as make the obligatory monthly payments. Fines for any late payments will be to the detriment of the worker and not the company.
- Swissroll offer the set up for the ANobAG as part of its service offer. Our knowledgable team organises all the required funds as well as negotiates best rates with insurances and pension providers.
- The monthly management of an ANobAG employee is similar to the EOR model in that once a timesheet is submitted by the worker for hours worked, the employment service company (i.e. Swissroll) calculates the salary and invoices the client for the total monthly cost. They then pay the employee their net salary on the agreed date, and all the invoices for the required social funds, insurances and pension, thereby ensuring that the worker and the client company does not have any legal issues to contend with later.
- Similar to the EOR model – the client company will have a gross budget for the position which will include salary plus any bonus payments etc. It is again common for the client company to submit a budget for a particular position which covers not only the salary payment and any bonuses agreed, but also takes care of the employer deductions required by Swiss employment law.
It is important to note that both EOR and ANobAG employment is governed by Swiss employment laws, and that these laws apply regardless of what it written in any employment agreement.
At Swissroll, we take a personalised approach to get the best payroll structure for both companies and contractors. After decades providing payroll management solutions to clients and workers, we have seen many start-ups in our sector come and go.
One of the reasons for our longevity is that we don’t propose a “one shoe size fits all” approach for our benefit. Our experienced team takes great pride (and pleasure) speaking with both those companies looking to Switzerland as a strategic business location as part of their international expansion program as well as the skilled workers they wish to engage.
Employer of Record
|Worker is employee of client company||No||Yes|
|Worker is employee of Employment Services company||Yes||No|
|Worker is subject to Swiss Social Security contributions *||Yes||Yes|
|Registration at local Social Security Office||Yes||Yes|
|Possibility to include bonus and shares as part of compensation package||Yes||Yes|
|Employer social security contributions||Recommended client company pay Via EOR||Recommended for employer to pay|
|Accident Insurance||Part of EOR contract||Worker to organise|
|Occupational Pension (Pillar 2)||Part of EOR contract||Worker to organise|
|Registration as ANobAG||No||Worker to do themselves|
|Registration as EOR||Part of EOR contract||No|
|*Contributions refer to social benefits financed in Switzerland on a solidarity basis within the framework of the three-pillar system and specifically for the 1st pillar for AHV, IV, EO, ALV and FAK.|
Why not contact our team now for a free consultation and discuss payroll management options to fit the international business expansion strategy of your company!
Swissroll GmbH was founded over 20 years ago. During this time our team of experts has worked with hundreds of companies and literally thousands of contractors. Beyond our core function of payroll management, we offer advice to contractors coming to work in Switzerland for the first time. This includes advice on pensions. Swissroll: “More than just payroll specialists”
Contact us now on: firstname.lastname@example.org