Covid-19 Federal Coronavirus Employment Support

The Swiss Federal government announced a variety of measures to support employers and employees impacted by the Coronavirus Covid-19 shutdown and restrictions.

Included in the three components to the Swiss Federal government’s special financial support program of CHF 10 billion includes:

1. Short-time-work (Kurzarbeit): this is for CHF 8 billion and is discussed above.

2. Hardship Financing: The government will offer short-term financing, either as loans and/ or grants, to SMEs, including self-employed, for those in dire straits.

Hospitality workers and others on hourly wages were dramatically affected in an almost immediate way. Hence this need to address the social issues caused by the country shut-down and its immediate economic impact.

Kurzarbeit - Hourly workers - GmbH or Ag Shareholders

The Kurzarbeit process involves these steps:

  1. Employer applies for short-time-work financial support using the new simplified form.
  2. Swiss government (ALV insurance fund) approves it.
  3. Employee agrees to accept the 80% Kurzarbeit.

SECO – Short-Time working amended form for Corona-Virus Covid-19 

The 2 forms which require attention are:

  • Voranmeldung von Kurzarbeit
  • Antrag auf Kurzarbeitsentschädigung

If the employee does not agree to the 80% Kurzarbeit offered by the employer, it is likely that the employee would have their contract terminated. They could then apply for RAV unemployment compensation, providing the employee meets the other requirements.

More information can be found on the SECO Federal website

The unemployment insurance authorities are responsible for approving short-time work funding. 

The addresses and further information can be found at

Self-employed persons are not entitled to compensation for short-time work. 

As a small GmbH business owner can I apply for support?

Yes. Shareholders of a GmbH or AG who work in the company and
can also benefit from short-time working compensation.

More information here

Self-Employed Financial Support

(Translated) Federal Measures – SECO – 24.03.2020

Self-employed persons who suffer loss of earnings due to official measures to combat the coronavirus will be compensated, unless compensation or insurance benefits already exist. Compensation is provided for the following cases:

  • School closures
  • Medically prescribed quarantine
  • Closure of an independently managed publicly accessible business
  • The regulation also applies to freelance artists who suffer a loss of income because their engagements are cancelled because of the measures against the corona virus or because they have to cancel an event of their own.

Compensation is regulated in accordance with the Income Compensation Act and paid as a daily allowance.

This corresponds to 80 percent of income and amounts to a maximum of 196 Swiss francs per day.

The number of daily allowances for self-employed persons in quarantine or with care duties is limited to 10 and 30 respectively.

The AHV and related insurance funds are responsible for checking entitlement and paying out the benefit. 

A full overview is provided here at (German / French / Italian)