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OSA advice


I am a Swiss citizen abroad living in a country outside the EU/EFTA. What are my rights in terms of unemployment insurance if I return to Switzerland?

People returning to Switzerland from a non-EU/non-EFTA country are entitled to 90 working days of unemployment benefit. The specific requirements for this entitlement to unemployment benefit are: return to Switzerland after a stay of over a year in a non-EU/non-EFTA state; the period of employment as an employee abroad within the last two years amounts to at least 12 months; confirmation of the period of employment from the employer can be presented.

The benefits amount to 80 % of your flat rate, which is 153, 127, 102 or 40 Swiss francs a day depending upon education and age. These amounts are reduced by half if you are exempt from meeting the contribution period requirement owing to school education, retraining, further training or following a vocational apprenticeship, are under 25 years of age and do not have any child maintenance obligations.

People who have worked for a company with its head office in Switzerland during their stay abroad and have therefore paid Swiss unemployment insurance contributions are treated in the same way as those who work in Switzerland. They are generally covered by a longer eligibility period.

People returning to Switzerland from an EU/EFTA state are subject to different provisions due to the coordination of the social security systems as part of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. The last country of employment is generally responsible for the payment of unemployment benefit unless you can prove that you worked in Switzerland for at least 12 months in the two years prior to registration for unemployment insurance.

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