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Working in Switzerland

Working in Switzerland opportunities and challenges in detail

Nowadays, highly specialized specialists are often only available abroad. Thanks to the agreements between Switzerland/Liechtenstein and the EU, access to the labor market in Switzerland and Liechtenstein is no longer a problem for employees from EU countries.

Switzerland is attractive for job seekers from Germany for many reasons. High wages, good career opportunities and geographical proximity make the country attractive. This detailed article highlights the central aspects of working in Switzerland from the perspective of Germans.

Introduction: Overview of the Swiss labor market

Switzerland scores with a stable economy that performed comparatively well even in times of crisis. This is reflected in the low unemployment rate of just 2.6 percent. Compared to other countries, there is hardly a lack of vacancies. Well-trained specialists from abroad benefit from the security and career opportunities.

Popular industries for Germans to work in Switzerland

  • Banks, insurance and financial services
  • Mechanical engineering, electrical and metal industries
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical industries
  • Medical technology and healthcare
  • Gastronomy and hotel industry

Cross-border commuter model: commuting between home and work

Germans do not necessarily have to move to work in Switzerland. The “cross-border commuter model” allows you to continue to live at your place of residence in Germany and commute to work in Switzerland.

Tax specifics

Cross-border commuters are subject to special taxation. You pay income tax at your German place of residence. Withholding tax is also due in Switzerland for income earned there. However, through double taxation agreements, the taxes paid are offset. Cross-border commuters are also subject to social insurance contributions in Germany.

Commuting distances and travel times

Depending on the distance from where you live to the Swiss border, you often have to accept longer commutes. Cross-border commuters from Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria are closer than those from northern Germany. Thanks to home office, commuting trips can increasingly be saved.

Employment contracts according to Swiss law

Swiss employment contract law differs from the German system in details. Important key points: 

Legal minimum standards  

By law or generally valid collective employment contracts, certain minimum standards apply to vacation, probationary periods, notice periods and overtime. Some of these are more employee-friendly than in Germany.

Freedom of contract in certain guardrails

Freedom of contract exists to the extent permitted by law. This means that working time models, salary systems and additional benefits can be negotiated.

 Occupational safety and equal treatment

The topics of occupational safety, health protection and the prohibition of discrimination are precisely regulated by law. There are also framework conditions regarding personal protection, data protection and the like.

Social insurance in Switzerland

To protect against risks such as illness, accidents, old age or unemployment, employees in Switzerland are subject to comprehensive social insurance obligations.

   Contribution obligation and premium amount

Unlike in Germany, the system is financed equally by employers and employees. The premiums are often based on age and health.

    Scope of services

Statutory basic insurance covers the most important risks. Supplementary insurance offers additional benefits. The legal regulations differ in nuances from Germany.

Work and residence permits for Germans

Germans need a permit to take up work. This is staggered depending on the length of stay and country of origin:

    Short stays under 90 days

On the basis of the visa exemption, Germans can spend up to 90 days every six months in Switzerland and also work.

    Cross-border commuter permit

With this permit, cross-border commuters are allowed to work in Switzerland for the duration of the employment relationship and to return regularly to their place of residence.

    Residence permit

For longer-term stays, a temporary or permanent residence permit is required. This is rather restrictive and tied to certain criteria.

    Quotas by professional group

Annual maximum numbers (quotas) control how many permits are awarded according to professions. There is a shortage of doctors, nursing staff and engineers, for example.

   Finding accommodation and rent levels in Switzerland

Anyone who works in Switzerland for a long period of time often needs accommodation on site. Rent prices are – similar to the cost of living in general – among the highest in Europe.

    Rental price range by region

Rental costs vary greatly from region to region. In cities like Zurich or Geneva, 13 to 27 francs per square meter must be taken into account. It is cheaper in the countryside: in Valais or Ticino you can also find apartments for 10 to 16 francs per square meter.

    Housing situation and vacancy rate

In urban Swiss areas there is great pressure on the real estate market with low vacancy rates below 1 percent. In contrast, there is a surplus of living space in rural, remote regions.

Recommendations for finding accommodation

Contacts to locals or specialized real estate agents can help you find a suitable place to stay. Since the market is very competitive, a willingness to compromise is often required when it comes to rental prices and applications.

Conclusion: Switzerland offers opportunities and stability

In summary, working in Switzerland has many advantages to offer, despite certain bureaucratic and tax hurdles. It is not for nothing that over 60,000 cross-border commuters currently commute here from Germany every day. In addition to financial incentives, security, progress and the best career prospects in an innovative economy are attractive. However, in order to fully settle in, jumping across the border requires openness to the independent Swiss culture.

If you want to work in Switzerland or Liechtenstein as an EU citizen, Excellent Go4 Zueri West AG is the right place for you. We are looking for German-speaking skilled workers from the EU area, especially in the areas of construction and auxiliary trades, technology and industry. Here you will find a list of our current job offers as well as an overview of the professions we are looking for.

At Excellent Go4 Zueri West AG we not only take care of the official regulations, but also offer comprehensive support in all important matters, including accommodation. As soon as you arrive in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, you will be personally welcomed by an experienced HR consultant who will inform you about all the necessary steps and support you in all matters. We do everything we can to ensure that our employees from the EU feel comfortable and can optimally develop their potential.

Further information about working in Switzerland from Germany can be found in our FAQs .

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Job Types

Temporary

Temporary positions – flexibility and diverse opportunities. Excellent Go4 Zueri West AG offers temporary jobs in various areas. Find flexible employment opportunities that meet your needs. Use our free support to find suitable temporary job opportunities and advance your career.

Try & Hire

Try-on and take-on positions – prove your skills and find your dream job. Excellent Go4 Zueri West AG supports you on the way to success. Take advantage of this opportunity to receive suitable job offers for free and find the best option for your professional development.

Permanent position

Excellent Go4 Zueri West AG is ideal for management positions and highly qualified specialists with a diploma or corresponding qualification. We offer you free, suitable offers that match your desired career path. Use the opportunity to compare offers and find the best option for your professional development.

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The steps to success

Cost

Use our free services and let us accompany you on your path to success. We do everything we can to help you find your dream job. The companies cover the costs because your success is what drives us. Get ready to achieve your professional goals and let’s explore great opportunities together. Start now and discover what we can do for you!

Documents

In the second step, we ask you to provide us with your contact details and ideally your CV. This creates a solid basis for further action and allows us to get a better picture of you. Your information is very important for us to initiate the next step in our process.

Meeting

We will contact you by phone within 48 hours to have an initial conversation. We would like to clarify any questions you may have and get to know your skills and ideas better. This conversation serves to create a solid basis for further development and to support your professional goals in the best possible way.

Offers

We organize job offers for you and arrange interviews, which take place conveniently online via video telephony. This enables us to have a flexible and efficient application phase that saves both time and travel costs. We ensure that you have the opportunity to present yourself in the best possible way and show your potential, all from the comfort of your own home.

Try

As soon as one or more companies appeal to you, you travel to Switzerland and complete trial days with the relevant companies. These trial days allow you to get to know the working environment and gain a personal impression of potential employers. We will help you organize these important steps and accompany you throughout the entire process. Your success is our goal and we are committed to ensuring that you have the best possible chance to present yourself and find your dream job.

Selection

After the trial days, you have the opportunity to choose the offer that suits you most. We will provide you with advice and help you weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the various options. Your personal well-being and satisfaction are our top priority, which is why we support you in making the best decision for your professional future. Take the time to choose the offer that is right for you and start your new career with confidence and enthusiasm.

Accommodation and permits

We take care of organizing your first accommodation and your work permit and accompany you through the entire process. We will take care of all the formalities for you so that you can sit back and relax. Our experienced experts will take care of all the details, while you can simply participate and look forward to your new professional opportunity. We ensure that your start goes smoothly and support you with all administrative matters.

Care

Even after you start in Switzerland, we will remain your contact and continue to support you with any questions or problems.

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