We have put together answers to some frequently asked questions here.

What is my contribution to success?

What is my contribution to success?

Continually expand your German skills! For example, regularly repeat what you’ve learnt, read German-language newspapers and watch German TV programmes, make contact with native speakers etc. Mutual understanding is important in all respects and opens up new possibilities.


Keep to agreed times. Inform people in good time if you have a prior engagement or cannot keep an appointment.


Stick to agreements. In a team, everyone must be able to rely on each other.


Show your agency what you can do and that you want to achieve something. Motivated, interested and enthusiastic people find exciting work quicker.

Sense of responsibility

Carry out your task to the best of your knowledge and abilities. Admit to mistakes and let yourself be corrected. Standing around gives a poor impression.


Where possible, think and act independently. Show your company that they can rely on you.

Willingness to learn

Take every opportunity to learn something.

Work as a team

Help others and then they will help you.

Politeness and manners

Be polite to customers, colleagues and employers. Use polite forms of language, i.e. ‘Sie’, unless the other person uses ‘Du’.

Organisational skills

Leave your work space clean and tidy.


Keep going even if work is occasionally boring. Many goals can be reached with persistence.


Absence is only permitted in case of serious emergency. Inform your employer immediately and justify the absence.


Always come to work appropriately dressed and well-groomed. Pay attention to personal hygiene.


Please ask if you do not understand something. Asking questions shows that you are interested and also saves considerable trouble.

How much will I be paid?

Swiss law does not set a minimum wage. Some collective working agreements or standard employment contracts provide for minimum wages for certain types of profession. The employer and employee agree the wage level when the employee is taken on.

If you are prevented from working through no fault of your own, such as illness, an accident, military service etc., the law prescribes that the employer must continue to pay the wage for a limited time. The length of time for which this happens depends on the duration of the employment contract, but the obligation to continue paying the wage does not apply if an employment contract is for less than three months.

Who will pay for my lunch when I’m working?

If you are paid enough you will have to pay for your lunch yourself. If you receive support from Regional Social Services (Regionaler Sozialdienst) or from the Department for Migration and Civil Law (Accommodation and Care department or Individual Accommodation department), please get in touch with your contact person to apply for financial assistance.

I want to take driving lessons and get my Category B driving licence. Will I receive financial assistance?

Help with the cost of obtaining your Category B driving licence is a specific integration service to assist with long-term promotion of professional integration that is linked to various conditions. A basic requirement is that you must be able to prove that you need a car for your job. Discuss your needs with your job coach.

How are foreign qualifications recognised?

A foreign degree or diploma does not have to be recognised for every profession. If your profession is not regulated in Switzerland, you will be able to practise it without your foreign degree or accreditation being recognised. Whether or not you will be able to work in your profession depends on the employment market and your future employer’s requirements. Most professions in Switzerland are not regulated.

If your profession is regulated in Switzerland, your foreign degree or professional qualifications will have to be recognised by a Swiss authority or institution. Regulated professions are those dependent on the possession of a degree, diploma or accreditation and which are regulated by law.

There are various bodies in Switzerland that recognise foreign degrees and professional qualifications. The website for the Staatssekretariat für Bildung, Forschung und Innovation SBFI (State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI) contains an overview of the relevant authorities and institutions.

Visit the website of the Rector's Conference of the Swiss Universities,, for further information about recognition of foreign degrees in Switzerland and a summary of the international agreements governing recognition.

Foreign upper-secondary education certificates are not recognised at Federal level. Please contact the universities directly if you wish to enrol on a degree course.

Where can I find information on employment law?

The employment contract covers the rights and obligations of the employer and employee. The employee undertakes to perform the agreed work and the employer is obliged to pay wages and social security contributions and to permit holidays. As a minimum, the employment contract must contain the names of both parties (employer and employee), the date the contract starts, the work to be performed and the wage to be paid. Frequently other laws or regulations, particularly the Swiss Code of Obligations and the Collective Working Agreements, govern other aspects not detailed by the parties in the contract.

Where can I find information on employment law?

Employment law governs the rights and obligations of employees and employers. The following are important:

The Swiss Federal Statute on Employment (Arbeitsgesetz) (general health and safety at work, hours of work, hours of rest, young people, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers)

The Swiss Code of Obligations (Obligationenrecht) (individual employment contract, collective work agreement, standard employment contract)

The Swiss Accident Insurance Act (Unfallversicherungsgesetz) (health and safety at work)

The same provisions of employment law apply to all foreign nationals working in Switzerland as to their Swiss colleagues.

Who can I speak to if I feel my employer is treating me unfairly?

Think carefully about the reasons you are dissatisfied at work. It’s best if you make notes of individual things that happen. Talk to your job coach about it; they are there to provide you with advice and support.

What can I do if I am unemployed?

People who live in Switzerland and become unemployed are entitled to unemployment benefit provided that all the necessary requirements are met. The fundamental conditions for this are a valid residence permit and 12-months of employment in the 2 years before becoming unemployed.

For questions with regard to unemployment, please contact the Unemployment Insurance ‘Funds and the Regional Job Placement Centres (RAV).

The following is important if you become or are at risk of becoming unemployed:

Start immediately with the search for a new job if you have not already begun. Proof of these efforts is to be submitted when claiming unemployment benefit. Corresponding notes and copies of written applications and letters of rejection are to be retained.

Please report immediately to the job centre in the place where you live.

What is “moonlighting”?

Even someone who receives payment for occasional cleaning, childcare, household and gardening work is regarded as employed and must have an immigration permit and be registered with social insurance, or register themselves. If this doesn’t happen it is regarded as illegal work, or “moonlighting” and the person in question is not insured in the event of unemployment, accident or invalidity.