Working environment

Working in Europe | Taxation/salaries, Work permit | Switzerland

Work permit

Switzerland has a dual system for the admission of foreign workers. Gainfully employed nationals from EU/EFTA States can benefit from agreements on the free movement of persons. Only a limited number of management level employees, specialists and other qualified employees are admitted from all other countries.

Information for Citizens of EU/EFTA countries

Information for Citizens of non-EU/EFTA countries

 

If the cost of living in Switzerland is among the highest in the world, the same can be said of the salaries (OECD 2021, Average wages (indicator).

However, the level of salaries varies very strongly depending on the economic sector. In certain branches, such as the financial and insurance sectors, salaries increased greatly during the economic upswing. Since then they have, however, declined. If we consider the average of all the branches, real salaries have, in fact, risen only very slightly since the early 1990s.

There is no statutory minimum wage in Switzerland.

Agreed between the employer and employee on the signing of the employment contract, the gross salary represents the salary before the deduction of the compulsory social contributions such as the old-age, disability and unemployment insurance as well as occupational pension provision schemes (second pillar). The net salary is therefore 13-20% lower (before taxes and health insurance costs).

The salary calculator, provided by the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions will enable you to get a slightly more precise idea of the salary you can expect according to your qualifications and the professional branch you wish to work in.

 
 

 

 

 

Refugees

Persons granted asylum or temporarily admitted as refugees are permitted to engage in gainful employment.

 

Open access / Open science

The aim of Open Access is to make scientific and scholarly literature and materials freely accessible to all internet users.

 

Gender and diversity

Switzerland has run programmes fostering equal opportunity of women and men at higher education institutions since 2000.