What do I do about my unemployment?

1. Before registering for unemployment

1. What do I have to do before I register as unemployed?
You have to start looking for a job before the first day of unemployment and write 2-3 applications per week. Start with:

  • in the case of an open-ended employment contract: during the notice period;
  • in the case of a fixed-term employment contract: during the last three months of the employment relationship;
  • in the case of a seasonal contract: during the last three months of the employment relationship;
  • for temporary assignments: during the first three months of the assignment. If the assignment lasts longer, you can temporarily pause the job search and resume as soon as you receive the notice of termination;
  • after completing an apprenticeship: as soon as you have received knowledge of your examination results;
  • in all other cases: during the last three months prior to your registration (e.g. in the case of a stay abroad).

Please note these deadlines and keep the evidence of your job search in order to avoid a sanction!You can find more information on the page «Before registering for unemployment».


2. I quit my job myself. Can I still register as unemployed with the RAV?
Yes, you can register as unemployed with your RAV, even if you have quit your job yourself. You benefit from advice from the RAV and may be able to take part in a course. However, you will probably not receive any unemployment benefits for a certain period of time. You can find more information on the “Unemployment benefit” page.

You have to start looking for a job before the first day of unemployment and write 2-3 applications per week.

2. My first steps during unemployment

Compulsory online course

1. I have just registered as unemployed and should take an online course on unemployment insurance. Is this course compulsory? How long does it take?
All useful information on the rights and obligations in connection with unemployment insurance is now available in German, French and English at www.orp-rav-fr.ch. The online course contains advice, exercises and videos and lasts approximately 45 minutes. It ends with a compulsory test that you must take within ten days of registering as unemployed. The platform is primarily aimed at people who have recently registered with the RAV. But it is also open to everyone who is interested in the topic of unemployment.

Unemployment benefit

2. I recently became unemployed. When will I receive my first daily unemployment benefit?
As soon as the unemployment insurance fund has received all the necessary documents - including the confirmation from the last employer - and has recognized your entitlement to unemployment benefits. It is therefore important to register as soon as possible. The first five days of unemployment are considered a waiting period and most job seekers are not compensated. Further waiting days are possible depending on the situation. You can find more information on the “Unemployment benefit” page.

3. General questions during unemployment

Illness and accident

1. I am sick. Will I still receive unemployment benefits?
In the event of temporary illness, you are entitled to a total of 44 daily sickness benefits within the framework period for receiving benefits. After 30 consecutive days of illness, the unemployment insurance fund will stop paying daily benefits until you are healthy and able to work again. If you are unable to comply with the control regulations (take part in counseling interviews, respond to job assignments, etc.), you must inform your personnel advisor immediately. You can find out what you have to consider if you are ill for a longer period of time on the page "Unemployed and on sick leave: Do I need loss of earnings insurance?".

2. I had an accident. Will I still receive unemployment benefits?
After an accident, you will be compensated by unemployment insurance for two days. From the third day you will receive daily accident allowances from SUVA.


3. I am unemployed. Can I go on vacation abroad?
Yes. After 60 days of controlled unemployment, you are entitled to five consecutive control-free days. During these days you do not have to look for a job, take part in a counseling interview and you do not have to be able to work.
However, you cannot obtain any control-free days in advance. You can, however, keep them for a later date in order to receive two weeks or more at a time. The control-free days can only be used on a weekly basis. You are obliged to inform your personnel advisor of your intention at least two weeks in advance.

4. Unemployment and pregnancy


1. I am 6 months pregnant and my fixed-term employment contract is about to expire. Can I register as unemployed and do I have to inform the RAV about my pregnancy?

As a rule, pregnancy does not call into question the right to unemployment benefits. Until your child is born, you must take part in the counseling sessions and usually also in the labor market measures that the RAV will assign you. (During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the RAV avoid assigning a measure to pregnant women, as they are among the most vulnerable people). During the last two months before giving birth, however, they are exempted from looking for work.

As a rule, after the birth of your child, you will receive maternity allowance instead of the daily unemployment allowance for 14 weeks. From the 15th week after the birth, i.e. after the 14-week maternity leave has expired, you have to start looking for a job again.

We strongly recommend that you inform your personnel advisor about your situation during the consultation so that you are not given any work that could harm your health or that of your child during this time. Although in the 6th month it will be difficult for you to hide your condition anyway.

Please see below for more information on maternity allowance.

Work efforts

2. I will have a child in a few months. Do I still have to make an effort to work?
You are obliged to make an effort to work up to the eighth week before the expected due date.

3. When do I have to start looking for a job again?
You must start looking for a job again from the 15th week after the birth, i.e. after the end of the 14-week maternity leave, and demonstrate that you have made sufficient efforts in terms of both quantity and quality. It is important that you keep evidence of your efforts to work (cover letters, replies, etc.). Otherwise, your entitlement to daily unemployment benefits may be suspended.


4. I am six months pregnant and my recruiter assigned me a course. Do I have to take part?
You will normally have to take part in the measures (courses, employment and qualification programs, internships, etc.) that your recruitment consultant will assign you until the end of your pregnancy. You can only be exempted from the obligation to participate on presentation of a doctor's certificate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the RAV avoid assigning a measure to pregnant women, as they are among the most vulnerable.

5. Can my HR consultant assign me a measure during the 14 weeks after the birth?
No. During this time, you cannot be assigned a course or any other measure.

Illness and accident

6. I have been unable to work for more than 30 days and no longer receive daily unemployment benefits. I will have a child soon. Am I still entitled to maternity allowance?
Unemployed people who are temporarily unable to work due to illness or an accident are entitled to unemployment benefits for a maximum of 30 consecutive days. If the incapacity for work lasts longer than 30 days, the entitlement to daily allowances is suspended until the person is again able to work, i.e. until they are able to take up work again. A woman who is in this situation at the time of delivery is still entitled to maternity allowance. You can find out what you have to consider if you are ill for a long time on the page «Unemployed and on sick leave: Do I need loss of earnings insurance?».

Maternity allowance

7. I am unemployed and will soon have a child. Am I entitled to maternity allowance?
Yes, as an unemployed person receiving daily unemployment benefits, you are entitled to maternity allowance. Women who are not registered as unemployed but who meet the conditions for receiving daily unemployment benefits can also claim maternity allowance.

8. What do I have to do to receive maternity benefit?
If you are unemployed, you must contact the responsible AHV compensation office directly. This is the fund that collects the contributions that are deducted from the unemployment benefit. A list of the compensation offices can be found on the last pages in all telephone books or on the Internet: https://www.ahv-iv.ch/de/Kontakte/Kantonale-Ausgleichskassen

9. How long will I be entitled to maternity allowance?
Your entitlement begins on the day of the birth and lasts 14 weeks or 98 calendar days.

10. As an unemployed person, I receive 70% or 80% of my previous wages. Is maternity allowance calculated on the basis of my daily unemployment benefits?
No, because you are not subject to unemployment insurance during the 14 weeks. The maternity allowance is paid to you by the compensation office in the form of daily allowances. The amount of the maternity allowance is at least equal to the amount of the daily unemployment allowance.

11. I come from Germany and have been living in Switzerland for a short time. I worked in Germany for ten years but haven't found a job in Switzerland and will soon have a child. Will I get maternity allowance?
In order to be able to claim maternity allowance, minimum contribution periods and minimum employment periods must be proven (Art. 16b EOG). If you are a citizen of a European country to which the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons applies, the periods of contribution and employment in this country can also be taken into account when clarifying your entitlement. So if you are unemployed in Switzerland and receive daily unemployment benefits or if you are not registered as unemployed but still meet the eligibility requirements, you will receive maternity benefits in Switzerland even if you made little or no contributions in Switzerland. he application for maternity allowance is based on the usual procedure (see above), but you also need form E 104 (certificate of the aggregation of insurance, employment or residence periods), which you can request from your unemployment insurance fund.

12. I am entitled to 400 daily unemployment insurance benefits. Will maternity allowance be deducted from my daily unemployment benefit entitlement?
No. During the 14 weeks during which you receive maternity allowance (= 98 daily allowances), your entitlement to unemployment allowances remains unaffected. Your framework period for receiving benefits from unemployment insurance will also be extended by two years from the date of confinement.

Child allowances

13. Do I receive child allowances in addition to the unemployment benefit?
Yes, unemployed people are entitled to child allowances in addition to daily unemployment benefits. The unemployment insurance fund will first clarify whether the unemployed person receives the allowances or the wife or husband. Only one of the two people receives the child allowance.

Do you have another question? Write us an email at [email protected] and we will answer you as soon as possible.

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