Why freelance and temp workers are in high demand in Switzerland right now

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Why freelance and temp workers are in high demand in Switzerland right now
The need for freelancers is growing in Switzerland. Photo: Pixabay

Swiss employers are looking not only to fill vacant permanent positions in the workforce, but are increasingly seeking freelancers and temporary workers as well.


Amid continued labour market shortages, the demand for freelance jobs has grown by 23 percent between January and February, outstripping all other types of employment, PageGroup recruitment company said.

As for temporary employment opportunities, they increased by 8 percent during this period.

The reason for this upward trend is that “heightened economic and geopolitical risks have made employers and candidates more cautious,” according to Yannick Coulange, managing director of PageGroup Switzerland.

“Freelance and interim employment contracts are seen as a way to help manage business risks. As a result, we are seeing a significant increase in most forms of non-permanent work."

The Michael Page Talent Trends survey confirms this phenomenon: the growth in these types of jobs is in line with the fundamental change happening in the labour market as a whole.

“Loyalty to an employer has lost its lustre: nine out of 10 people who started a new job within the last year are open to new opportunities. Many candidates find advantages with non-permanent work options – from both a career development and work life balance perspective,” Coulange said.

A 'win-win' situation

For many job-seekers, a ‘non-fixed’ position is the best-case scenario, as they “prefer to invest in building their careers through project-based work,” often in non-permanent contracts.

And such an arrangement is a plus for companies as well.

“Many employers have increased recruitment requirements to include, for example, candidates undertaking extensive assessments and aptitude tests. As a result, recruitment times for permanent jobs are longer than ever. Interim roles normally do not have such heightened requirements,” Coulange pointed out.

This situation, where both employers and workers make greater use of non-permanent contracts, “is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.”


Can foreign nationals get ‘freelance visas’ to work in Switzerland?
If you hope to get a visa or a work permit to work as a freelancer in Switzerland, that is not going to happen. As many Swiss residency permits are tied to an employer, moving to Switzerland in order to become a freelancer will not confer a work permit. 

You can, however, become a freelancer if you are already living in the country, with a legal status that allows you to work here, which usually means either a C or B permit.

READ ALSO : Freelancing in Switzerland: What foreign nationals need to know

And while being a freelancer offers perks such as  flexibility and freedom, it does carry many of the same obligations as permanent work does: paying taxes and social contributions, as well as having the basic health insurance policy.

READ ALSO: What freelancers in Switzerland need to know about paying tax


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