Should they lose their job, employees are entitled to receive unemployment benefits under the unemployment insurance scheme. This form of social security guarantees the right to a salary in the event of losing a job and encourages the reintegration of the unemployed into the labour market. Insurance is compulsory for everyone performing a dependent paid activity (employees). Half of the contributions are paid by the employer (1% of gross salary) and half by the worker. Self-employed people are not allowed to make contributions, even if they wish to.

Amount and duration of benefits

Unemployment benefits generally amount to 80% of the most recent salary or reference salary ("gain assuré"), up to a maximum of CHF 328.- per day. Benefits are paid for an average of eighteen months, with a maximum of two years for people aged over 55.

To know more about the amount and duration of benefits, you can read the flyer "Je cherche un emploi".


To be covered by unemployment insurance, you need to meet the following conditions. You must:

  • be domiciled in Switzerland (complete with valid residence permit),
  • have completed compulsory education,
  • not have reached the statutory retirement age (65),
  • be able to work (physical and mental capacity to work),
  • have your unemployed status checked regularly by a regional employment centre (ORP),
  • agree to attend a professional retraining course suggested by the ORP,
  • have been in gainful employment for at least 12 months during the two years preceding the request for benefits or have been exempted from paying contributions during the same period. The reasons for an exemption are:
    • studying, sickness or incarceration for more than 12 months,
    • returning from abroad, or
    • change of marital status (divorce).
    • Special regulations exist for self-employment or a period dedicated to educating a child.
Registration procedure for unemployment insurance

After receiving notice, and at the latest on the first day of unemployment, the employee should go to the regional employment agency (ORP) in his region of domicile. From that moment, and for as long as he meets the conditions listed below, the employee will have the right to receive a daily allowance. Thus every day spent waiting prior to this stage translates into a shortfall. (see ORP addresses).

This stage involves:

  • registering the date of termination (essential for your right to receive benefits),
  • choosing an unemployment insurer,
  • setting up an information appointment,
  • taking the documents required to receive benefits, and
  • setting up the first interview with the ORP advisor.

Please note: it is important to retain the documentary evidence of efforts to find work during the notice period in order to submit them to the ORP advisor.

Then you will need to submit to the unemployment insurer the necessary documents required to obtain coverage. See "documents nécessaires pour toucher les indemnités".

If the conditions for receiving unemployment benefits are met, the insurer calculates the amount and duration of the payments to be made.

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