The entitlement to unemployment benefit (UB) depends on the following conditions:
Status of being unemployed
You have to be partly or wholly unemployed. You are likewise insured if you have a part-time position and you are looking for a full-time position or an additional part-time position. Important: You are only considered to be unemployed if you have signed on for employment services. You can do this on www.work.swiss or in person at your regional employment centre (RAV).
Work stoppages/loss of income
You have to have at least 2 days of work stoppage and the corresponding loss of income.
Residence in Switzerland
Your nationality is not relevant to your claim to compensation, but you have to be resident in Switzerland (foreign nationals have to have a valid long-term or basic residence permit). If you live abroad and work in Switzerland (as a cross-border commuter), you will usually receive your unemployment benefit in the country where you are domiciled, and according to that country’s regulations.
You have to have completed your compulsory schooling and be below the statutory retirement age and not be drawing an old-age pension (OASI).
You have to show that you have paid contributions for at least 12 months during the past two years (qualifying period for contributions), before first applying, i.e. you have worked as an employee.
If you stopped working to dedicate yourself to bringing up a child aged under 10 and did not draw unemployment benefit during that time, then you have to show that you have paid contributions for at least 12 months during the past four years. Each additional birth of a child will extend the qualifying period for contributions by a maximum of two years.
If you were already drawing unemployment benefit when you stopped working to bring up your child aged under 10, and you did not claim all the daily allowances to which you were entitled at that time, and you do not meet the required contribution period of 12 months at the time when you re-applied, then your qualifying period for drawing benefits is extended by two years. This re-application must be done within four years from the end of the last qualifying period for drawing benefits. During this extension period, you can then draw the daily allowances that you had not claimed.
If you gave up self-employment in the last two years before submitting the application, the qualifying period for contributions can also be extended.
If a qualifying period for drawing benefits already passed when you took up self-employment and if the re-application takes place within two years of it ending, it can be extended by two years.
The period of paying contributions also includes:
- Working as an employee in Switzerland in a position that is subject to contributions;
- Contribution period in an EU/EFTA country as an EU/EFTA citizen, if you had last worked as an employee in Switzerland in a position subject to contributions; For cross-border commuters domiciled in Switzerland the accrediting also applies when they did not last work as an employee in Switzerland in a position subject to contributions;
- Working as an employee in a position subject to contributions for a Swiss company abroad (posting); Swiss military, civilian or civil defence service.
Missing contribution period
Even when missing the contribution period you are still insured if you were unable to work for a total period of more than 12 months due to...
- Education, provided you have been resident in Switzerland for at least 10 years;
- Illness, accident or pregnancy, provided you were resident in Switzerland during that period;
- Staying at a Swiss psychiatric hospital.
You are also insured, yet exempt from contributions...
- if you lived and worked in a non-EU/EFTA country for longer than one year;
- if you are a Swiss citizen or a citizen of an EU/EFTA country with residency in Switzerland and
- you are able to provide proof that you paid contributions in Switzerland for six months within the two years prior to registering for unemployment insurance.
For citizens of non-EU/EFTA countries with residency in Switzerland, residency periods outside Switzerland lasting longer than one year will be taken into consideration.
You are also insured without having to pay contributions if you are compelled for one of the following reasons, or some similar reason, to take on or expand the scope of a non-self-employed position, and the incident did not happen more than one year ago, and when it happened you were resident in Switzerland:
- Divorce or ending of a civil partnership;
- Separation (marriage or partnership)
- Death of a spouse or registered partner;
- A disability allowance comes to an end
Fit for placement
You must be fit for placement, that is to say willing and entitled to take on a reasonable job and to participate in integration measures (see the “Labour market measures: The first step to re-joining the labour market” information service, no. 716.800).
You have to personally attend the information day and the advisory and monitoring interviews as required by the regulations of the RAV. Moreover, you have to make every reasonable effort to prevent or shorten unemployment.