Between labour shortages and the desire to work part-time: ways out of the Swiss labour market crisis - Tax and Legal blog


We are pleased to announce the release of the third article in our Pulse of Switzerland series, which highlights the current state of the Swiss labour market and offers insights into the attitude of employees with regards to their employability and part-time work. In light of the labour shortage crisis, the article addresses how both policymakers and companies can make gainful employment more attractive for mature workers, and how to increase the value of full-time work.

Despite the economic downturn, Switzerland faces a unique situation with low unemployment rates coexisting with a growing labour shortage – a situation that will be exacerbated in the coming years by the upcoming retirement of the baby boomer generation. However, the previous solution, which was to rely on labour migration to fill in the gaps, has become increasingly politically contentious. As a result, alternative approaches must be considered. One of these could be the activation of the domestic labour potential. In fact, several initiatives in Switzerland are already heading in this direction. Considering these efforts, the question arises as to how the population itself is reacting to the changing conditions on the labour market. To answer this, a survey was conducted by Deloitte at the end of 2023 to find out how current strategies reflect the needs and wishes of Swiss residents.

Key Findings

  • The survey reveals a decline in confidence about employability, particularly among older workers. Participants cite technical skills and IT knowledge as critical areas requiring improvement for job security, followed by social and personal skills. It will therefore be necessary for the future to continue to train and retrain workers in later working life so that more people can keep pace with changes in the labour market.
  • Further, the survey shows that there is a clear preference for part-time work both for women and men and across all age groups. Overall, only 30% of the respondents aged 18-64 favour full-time employment. Interestingly, the reasons for this are associated with the desire for self-optimisation, work-life balance and personal pursuits rather than family obligations.
  • Flexible retirement age policies and adaptive working models are recommended for mature workers, along with investing in on-the-job training to match evolving job requirements. However, there should also be an incentive for a continued employment. As such, tax and social security reforms should be considered, so that mature workers are not penalised financially.
  • With regards to the level of employment, the introduction of individual taxation could increase the value of full-time work. Additionally, companies should consider adopting innovative solutions, including childcare support, hybrid work models, and alternative career paths.

As Switzerland navigates its labour market complexities, the survey results highlight the importance of aligning policies and corporate practices with the changing preferences and needs of the Swiss workforce. The recommendations aim to strike a balance between economic necessities and creating a supportive, inclusive work environment.

Read the full article and gain further insights into the Swiss labour market.


If you would like to discuss more on this topic, please reach out to our key contacts below.

Key contacts


Veronica Melian - Managing Partner People & Purpose and Human Capital Partner

Veronica is a Consulting Partner with more than 25 years of experience advising clients on talent and transformation issues. She also serves as Chief People Officer for Deloitte Switzerland, leading the company’s People & Purpose function as part of the Swiss Executive Team. She has extensive experience of leading large-scale global transformation programmes and enabling organisations to embrace change. She advises business leaders on how to transform the way their businesses operate and prepares them for the future of work. Veronica holds an MBA from the Ohio State University (USA) and a PhD in Psychology of Human Resources from the University of Valencia (Spain).


Michael grampp

Michael Grampp - Research Director & Chief Economist

Michael is Deloitte’s Chief Economist in Switzerland. He has been with Deloitte for over 15 years and leads the Swiss Research team which produces thought leadership publications and studies. Previously, Michael was a consultant, has also held management positions in various industries and was a startup founder. He has a master’s degree in economics, marketing and a PhD in business administration.



Teresa Hug Alonso - Senior Analyst  

Teresa is a member of Deloitte’s Insight Team in Zurich since 2023. She conducts research and surveys on economic, business and societal issues. Previously, she worked for a Swiss thinktank. Her focus was on Swiss foreign economic policies, multilateralism and geopolitics. She holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Economics from the University of Bern, and a Bachelor of Economics and Law from SOAS University of London. She is fluent in German, English and Spanish.



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