Working remotely has grown exponentially in recent years and there are now plenty of reasons why people want, or need to work remotely. This trend as not escaped Switzerland, and the number of people now working remotely, has increased from 25% in 2019 to between 35-50% today.

 

But those considering working remotely based in Switzerland should first be aware of all legal requirements before making any final decisions.

Permit

Non-Swiss nationals working in – and from Switzerland, require a permit. The EU Free Movement of Persons initiative does not automatically qualify  EU/EFTA nationals to move to Switzerland to live and work remotely.  Even those EU/EFTA nationals already established in Switzerland may need permission to be able to work remotely – depending on their exact circumstances and canton where they live.

 

Work Engagement Models

There are two engagement models which are typically recommended for remote working.

  • The first is the ANobAG model. This is where the worker is employed by the non-switzerland based company. There are no minimum salary guidelines and the role does not have to be advertised to the open market first. The worker is responsible for ensuring 100% of all social deductions are set up and paid.
  • The second is the Employer of Record (EOR) model. This is where the worker is employed by a SECO licensed employment services company based in Switzerland and then leased to the non-Switzerland based company as a contractor (also referred to as “Labour Leasing”) . Here, bargaining agreement minimum salary rules as well as advertising of certain roles at the Swiss unemployment office

 

Salary Guidelines / Position Advertised

Depending on which engagement model is used, the GAV (Union Collective Bargaining Agreement) salary guidelines may be a requirement. This can often mean disappointment for the remote worker who having secured a role with a non-Switzerland based company, finds out this is not possible due to GAV rules (i.e. under the “EOR” model).

In addition, certain sectors and job roles must first be advertised locally at the social security office where the remote worker lives in case a more suitable local applicant can be found. These requirements are specific to sector, role and canton and are updated regularly, so should always be checked first.

 

 

 

Compliance

The remote worker should inform the client company of all the legal conditions that govern remote work in Switzerland under the various model options, to avoid potential negative consequences later.

  • Details regarding tax regulations, affiliation with social insurance coverage and benefits, data protection, as well as the specificities applicable to posted workers can then be considered.
  • It is also recommended to stipulate in the employment contract, which labour laws apply to the employer-employee relationship and to what extent remote work from abroad is feasible. (for example under ANobAG)

 

Taxation

  • When an individual employed and residing permanently in Switzerland works remotely for a client company in the EU/EFTA or beyond, they remain subject to taxation in Switzerland. From a Federal level as well as in their canton and municipality of residence. However, in addition – certain jurisdictions may also require the remote worker to pay income tax on all worldwide income.
  • Furthermore, the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters recommends that employers accurately assess each case with tax law experts specialising in international taxation before allowing remote work for employees or executives who usually reside and work in Switzerland.

 

Social Contributions

  • Switzerland participates in the European system for coordinating social insurance and this applies to Swiss nationals and individuals from EU/EFTA states working in or from Switzerland.
  • In principle, the current regulation stipulates that the employee is subject to only one social security system, generally that of the state in which they work.
  • An employee who usually resides in Switzerland and performs at least 25% of the total working time here, remains subject to Swiss social insurance.

 

Summary

Working remotely for a non-Switzerland based company when based in Switzerland is possible and the trend for people working remotely is increasing. That said, there are a number of important rules and regulations that must be adhered to when considering remote working from Switzerland. These start with having a valid permit, but also cover the areas of: type of engagement model used, salary guidelines & rules, compliance, taxation, social contributions.

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. Also cross border workers. Beyond our core function of payroll management, we offer advice to workers about which engagement model best suits theirs, and the clients needs. This includes giving advice in French, German and English and on social security and tax as well as working remotely. Call or contact us now on: enquiries@swissroll.ch