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Rights and obligations when unemployed

If you are out of work and have notified your commune of residence or the regional employment centre (RAV), these are your rights and obligations.

Rights of an unemployed person

  • Make sure that the notice period agreed in your employment contract was respected. In the absence of an employment contract or a collective employment contract, the notice period is regulated by the Swiss Code of Obligations. The notice period is
    • 7 days during trial period (as of the end of any day)
    • 1 month during the first year of service (as of the end of a given month)
    • 2 months from the second to the ninth year of service (as of the end of a given month)
    • 3 months from the tenth year of service (as of the end of a given month).
  • There is protection from termination for the duration of military, civilian or civil defence service, and in the event of illness, accident or pregnancy.
  • Ask your employer for a reference.
  • RAV centres provide counselling and placement services.
  • Unemployment benefits: compensation for loss of income for a salaried person. The duration of compensation depends on a person’s age, maintenance obligations and contributions made.
  • Self-employed persons are not insured against unemployment.

You are entitled to unemployment benefits only if the following conditions are met (FAQ from

Obligations of an unemployed person

  • You are required to start looking for a new job while you are working out your notice period. If you are employed on a limited term contract, you are required to start looking for work three months before the employment is due to end. If you do not meet this obligation, your benefits will be trimmed.
  • Be sure to keep all documentation related to your job search, such as job offers, applications and rejection letters. You will need to present them to your RAV consultant.