Unemployment Benefits in Switzerland

right to unemployment in switzerland
Unfortunately, losing your job can happen to all of us, which is why it's a good idea to be informed about your right to unemployment, whether it's your current or potential situation. In this article, we'll take a look at the different procedures and conditions concerning unemployment entitlement in Switzerland.

Table of contents

right to unemployment in switzerland

Unemployment at a Glance

The AC (Unemployment Insurance) is an insurance scheme designed to help you when you lose your job. Each employee affiliated to the AVS (AHV) contributes to financing Switzerland's unemployment system.

Who is Entitled to Unemployment Benefits in Switzerland?

The possibility of receiving compensation will depend on various factors, such as your nationality and your place of residence.

Swiss Residents

In general, you will be entitled to unemployment if :

If you are an independent worker, you are not insured against unemployment and therefore you cannot claim compensation if you stop working.

Any differences from canton to canton will also have to be taken into account.

Foreign Nationals

If you had a job on Swiss territory but you are not a Swiss citizen, you can claim unemployment benefits if you have:

If you have a B or C permit, you are entitled to Swiss unemployment benefit. In the case of G permits, if you work in the canton of Geneva, you will receive benefits from the country where you live. In other words, if you work in the canton of Geneva but live in neighboring France, you will receive French benefits. In the case of an L permit, your entitlement to unemployment benefit depends on the length of time you have worked in Switzerland. Indeed, you can only receive benefits if you have worked in Switzerland for more than 1 year.

Older Unemployed Workers

If you are of a certain age and lose your job before reaching retirement ageyou may be entitled to a transitory compensation to support you until you are entitled to receive your AHV/AVS pension, under certain conditions. To find out more, the commune where you live will be able to help you.

Compensation Amount

Your entitlement to unemployment benefit in Switzerland depends on your personal situation. The amount of compensation you receive is calculated on the basis of your insured income. The latter is the average of your gross salary for the last 6 or (if this is more interesting for you) 12 months. The amount you will receive during your unemployment will generally be 70% of your insured income, although this may change depending on your personal situation.

You can claim 10% more benefits if you have dependent children, if you are disabled or if your insured income does not exceed 3797 CHF.  

The daily allowance amount also depends on the period over which you have paid contributions; the longer you contribute, the higher your daily benefits. 

Unemployment Benefit Duration

In general, you will be entitled to benefits for 2 years, subject to certain conditions.

Procedures and Conditions

To receive your benefits, you will generally have to register to claim unemployment either online, or in person at the ORP (Office Régional de Placement). You will then have to undergo an interview where you'll need to present various documents (AHV/IV certificate, identity papers, etc.). You will also need to submit several documents (your unemployment application form, certificates from your previous employer, etc.) to your local unemployment fund.


In short, the compensation to which you are entitled if you stop working will depend on several factors such as your place of residence or nationality.

Frequently Asked Questions

In general, you can receive compensation for 2 years maximum.

Yes, but it all depends on your situation. For example, if you are a cross-border commuter, you will receive benefits from the country where you live. However, if you have worked in Switzerland for more than a year, you will be entitled to Swiss unemployment benefits, subject to certain conditions. If you have a B or C permit, you will be entitled to benefits.

It will be 70 to 80% of insured earnings, depending on your situation (if you have children, are disabled, etc.).

If you are partially (you work part-time but want to work full-time, for example) unemployed, you can receive compensation under certain conditions.

You can ensure that your dismissal was not unfair by relying on the following official information. You cannot be dismissed if you are pregnant or on sick leave, for example. If you have a legal protection, the latter can also advise you and ensure that your dismissal was indeed legal.