Swiss pay for qualified staff tops in Europe

Swiss salaries for qualified professionals and middle managers remain the highest in Europe, according to an international study done by Towers Watson, a human resource consulting and professional services firm.

Swiss pay for qualified staff tops in Europe
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The study released on Tuesday found that median annual wages for specialists were 101,000 francs (£66,671) and 177,400 francs (£115,826) for middle management, the ATS news agency reported.

The Swiss pay level for specialists was around 30,000 francs above the level of wages for the same kinds of positions in Denmark, which ranks second in Europe, according to the Global 50 Remuneration Planning report.

Luxembourg ranked third, Norway fourth and Germany fifth.

When it comes to middle management, median pay in Switzerland is 36,000 francs above the next nearest rival, Luxembourg, the report found.

Even when corrected for taxes and cost of living, the purchasing power of Swiss salaries remains higher than those elsewhere in Europe, ATS said.

The Towers Watson study found that UK employees “sit near the bottom of the European pay league across most jobs levels”.

Wages for entry-level professionals and experienced administration staff ranked 15th out of the top 16 European economies, “with only Portuguese employees faring worse”.

British wages for experienced professionals and middle managers were “slightly more competitive” but lagged significantly behind Switzerland and such countries as Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium, the report said.

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Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Switzerland has made reciprocal agreements regarding working holiday visas with several countries. Here's what you need to know.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

Over the past few decades, countries around the globe have rolled out ‘working holiday visa’ agreements.

These visa schemes, largely targeted at young people, allow people to work and live in a particular country, usually for a set period of time and pursuant to certain conditions.

In recent years, Switzerland has expanded its own form of a ‘working holiday visa’, although there are some important differences to be aware of.

Unlike some of the better known schemes like those in place in Australia, applicants are discouraged from moving around and are generally required to stay with the one employer for the duration.

The goal of the visa scheme is to allow applicants to “expand their occupational and linguistic skills in Switzerland”.

The visa scheme runs for 18 months and cannot be extended.

Which countries does Switzerland have working holiday visa agreements with?

The agreements are made between countries, meaning your fate will depend on whether your government has at some point struck a deal with Switzerland.

EXPLAINED: What’s the difference between permanent residence and Swiss citizenship?

If you are from the European Union or an EFTA country (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), then you will be able to live and work in Switzerland as is – and will not need to go through this process.

If you come from outside the EU, you will only be able to apply for this visa if you are a citizen of the following countries:

Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United States.

What does ‘reciprocal’ mean in this context? 

Where these agreements have been struck, they have entitled citizens of both countries to certain rights and permissions in the other country. 

However, while these arrangements might be reciprocal, they are not identical. 

For instance, while citizens of Australia can enter Switzerland and work, the rules for Swiss citizens in Australia are significantly different. 

Therefore, if considering each program, be sure to study all of the relevant details as these will change from country to country and from agreement to agreement. 

More information is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How to get a working holiday visa in Switzerland