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EUROMOVERS International

The independent voice of the global moving industry


Working in Switzerland

Nov 24, 2017

Information received from the Association of Swiss Moving Companies (VSU) via EUROMOVERS has highlighted two possible areas in which companies outside Switzerland may be falling foul of local regulations and risking heavy fines: the cabotage ban and the posted workers act.

Cabotage ban

It is illegal for a non-Swiss company to load goods in Switzerland using foreign transport and unload them again within Switzerland. In practice, this means that vehicles registered in another country must not be used for moving within Switzerland.

Posted Workers Act

This requires foreign employers to guarantee that any workers posted to work in Switzerland guarantee, as a minimum, wage and working conditions stipulated by Swiss law. This applies to the following areas:

· the minimum wage, including allowances;

· working hours and rest periods;

· the minimum annual leave allowance;

· occupational health and safety protection in the workplace;

· protection of pregnant women, new mothers, children and young people;

· non-discrimination, particularly equal opportunities for men and women.

In practice, this means that all work for moving within Switzerland and packing and unpacking services in Switzerland in connection with international moving may only be performed by staff employed in Switzerland if a foreign employer cannot guarantee that it employs its staff in accordance with Swiss law and pays them a salary that is comparable with Swiss standards. However, loading and unloading vehicles and shipping containers in connection with a cross-border move is permitted.

Official measures

The police and customs authorities are responsible for enforcing the cabotage ban. In addition to large fines for the carrier, carriage may be stopped immediately. Companies may be fined up to CHF40,000 and ordered to stop work if found in breach.

For these reasons, and to avoid being linked to illegal activities, the VSU advises that work involving the carriage of goods within Switzerland and packing and unpacking should be given directly or indirectly to Swiss moving companies.

More information is available from the VSU secretary’s office:

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