Access to the labour market


Country Report: Access to the labour market Last updated: 14/05/21


Swiss Refugee Council Visit Website

Foreign nationals, refugees and stateless persons who have been temporarily admitted to Switzerland, refugees who have been granted asylum in Switzerland and stateless persons who are recognised in Switzerland may take up gainful employment as soon as they received such status.

Recognised refugees (with asylum or with a temporary admission status) are entitled to engage in gainful employment and to change jobs or professions without any restrictions.[1] The requirements are that the employer must report the start and end of employment and comply with the usual local wage and working conditions for the given profession and industry.[2] On 31 December 2020, 37.8% of refugees with asylum who were able to work were employed (compared to 36.3% in 2019).[3]

Since January 2019, temporarily admitted persons may work anywhere in Switzerland if the salary and employment conditions customary for the location, profession and sector are satisfied. The employer must report the start or end of employment to the cantonal authority responsible for the place of work in advance. The report must include a declaration, stating that the employer is aware of the salary and employment conditions customary for the location, profession and sector, and that he is committed to observing them.[4] However, due to the temporary nature and especially the name of this status, temporarily admitted persons still encounter significant hurdles to employment. On 31 December 2020, 46% of temporarily admitted persons able to work were employed (compared to 44.3% in 2019).[5]

Personal qualifications like diplomas from other countries are not recognised for the most part, which is a big problem in respect of access to the labour market.

[1]        Article 61 AsylA.

[2]        Article 65 Ordinance on Admission, Stay and Gainful Employment (OASGE).

[3]        SEM, Asylum Statistics 2020 (table 6-23).

[4]        Article 85a FNIA.

[5]        SEM, Asylum Statistics 2020 (table 6-22).

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection