The regulations are designed to give unemployed people in Switzerland the first bite of the cherry when it comes to some vacant positions.
Under the rules, firms will be legally required to advertise open positions in occupations with high unemployment via regional unemployment (RAV/ORP) offices for five working days before they are advertised publicly.
The so-called ‘job registration requirement’ will initially affect occupations with an unemployment level of 8 percent and over. As of 2020, that figure will drop to 5 percent.
There are 19 occupations currently affected including warehouse workers, kitchen staff and marketing professionals, among others.
Vacancies for these occupations will have to be published exclusively on an online portal that can only be accessed by people officially registered as unemployed in Switzerland.
The act of job registration for firms is described as a simple online process. Companies can also register by email, phone and in person, while there are mechanisms in place for situations where staff are urgently required and some exemptions exist.
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Once a job has been registered by a company, the unemployment agency will supply details of possible candidates.
Firms that fail to first advertise affected positions via regional unemployment agencies risk fines of up to 40,000 francs. In cases of negligence the maximum sum is 20,000 francs.
The job registration requirement comes in the wake of Switzerland’s 2017 ‘against mass immigration' initiative which saw Swiss voters back a proposal to limit EU immigration to the country.
The Swiss parliament in late 2016 passed a watered-down version of the original legislation including new rules on unemployment designed to limit the impact of foreign workers on the domestic job market.
But the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) confirmed to The Local on Wednesday that unemployed foreigners registered with the RAV would also be entitled to apply for jobs in the occupations affected by the new registration requirement.
The aim of the rules is to maximise the use of the domestic workforce, a Seco spokesperson said.
Seco also told The Local companies were not obliged to employ people recommended by the RAV and would not have to justify their decision not to do so.