Update on "Assignments to Switzerland become more cost-efficient" - Tax and Legal blog


Since 1 April 2020 foreign employers sending their employees on long-term assignments to Switzerland no longer have to cover their expenses for accommodation, meals and travel after the first 12 months. Especially now when many companies have implemented cost-saving measures, this well received change makes assignments significantly more cost-efficient. Reviewing assignment allowance policies could result in cost savings of more than CHF 30,000 per employee per year.

Until 1 April 2020 employers were by law required to cover all accommodation, meal and travel costs for employees assigned to Switzerland, irrespective of the assignment's duration. With the recent legal changes, employers can save significantly on such costs. Many cantons prescribe lump sum allowances of CHF 3,000 per month to cover accommodation, meals and travel. In a four year assignment, employers can now save up to CHF 108,000 compared to before the changes.

The Federal Authorities have now confirmed that these legal changes apply not only to assignments with a start date after 1 April 2020 but also to assignments with an earlier start date. However, any changes to the assignment letter or contract require the assignee's explicit consent.

All other legal requirements, in particular the required Swiss salary level and other mandatory labour conditions (such as holiday, working hours etc.), remain unaffected and need to be complied with at all times.

Deloitte's view
Assignments have always been significantly more expensive than employing local workers. The change in legislation recognises this and significantly reduces the cost difference between assignments and local employment in Switzerland.

We recommend reviewing the policies and respective assignment costs for assignees and amending them where appropriate. If employers want to reduce the assignment costs for ongoing assignments after 12 months, written consent of the assignee is required.

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Jürg Birri blog- 1

Jürg Birri - Partner, Head of Legal

Jürg is leading the legal practice at Deloitte in Switzerland. He joined the firm as a Partner in 2019. Jürg is an Attorney-at-Law and a Federal Tax Expert and advises clients in the financial services industry on a wide range of tax and regulatory issues. He is in charge of a larger team of lawyers and experts who specialize notably in business, corporate, M&A, employment, as well as private client and financial market law.



David Wigersma - Partner, Global Employer Services

David has 17 years of experience in the area of international corporate and individual taxation planning. He specialises in addressing the complex compliance needs of a cross-border workforce with varied elements of compensation.



Julia Stutzer - Director, Immigration

Julia is an Immigration Director at Deloitte in Switzerland. She has been supporting both global companies as well as medium and small-sized enterprises with their immigration needs for more than 10 years. Julia puts her focus on immigration advisory services, advising clients on best practice and coordinating complex interdisciplinary requests with the tax and social security teams.


Christine Bassanello -blog

Christine Bassanello – Senior Manager, Deloitte Legal

Christine leads the Swiss Employment Law Practice of Deloitte in Switzerland. She joined as a Senior Manager in March 2020. Christine is a Swiss-qualified attorney-at-law with over 11 years of professional experience. She advises Swiss and international clients on all public and private employment law matters and has an in-depth knowledge of immigration law.



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