Switzerland extends coronavirus help for freelancers and self-employed

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Switzerland extends coronavirus help for freelancers and self-employed
Swiss Economy Minister Guy Parmelin. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The Federal Council has responded to pressure from parliament and the creative industries to extend the assistance for freelancers and the self-employed.


The Federal Council said freelancers and self-employed workers directly and indirectly impacted by the coronavirus crisis could continue to access government support. 

Despite the slow relaxation of the lockdown, many freelancers and self-employed in Switzerland are still struggling to find sufficient work. 

The decision overturns the government’s previous position which was that the support would run out on May 16th. Since this date, freelancers have put pressure on the government to extend the support. 

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Freelancers protected

Freelancers and the self-employed have been compensated for work lost due to the spread of the virus since the start of the outbreak. 

They have been entitled to 80 percent of their daily salary to a maximum of CHF196 per day. 

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Freelancers and self-employed persons in the cultural sector

Freelancers and the self employed also qualify for the financial assistance made available as per the stimulus payments. 

As with employees, this will again be calculated at 80 percent of their usual wage - up to CHF196 per day, calculated as a portion of a total of CHF40,000 per annum. 

For married persons the amount is set higher at CHF60,000, with an additional CHF10,000 added for every extra dependent. 

Freelancers and the self-employed will also be able to apply for compensation for events which were cancelled due to the coronavirus (scheduled between February 28th and May 20th). 


What exactly is the ‘cultural sector’?

The government has provided a fairly extensive list of who fits into the cultural sector - and who does not. 

Anyone fitting broadly into the categories of artist or musician - including DJs - are considered to be a valid part of the cultural sector. Graphic designers and jewellers are also considered to be a valid part of the cultural sector. 

Those who are not considered as artists include publishers, architects, manufacturers of musical instruments, photo laboratories and art dealers. 

Owners of nightclubs and discos also do not qualify. 


More information can be found here (in German). 



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