Several international studies attest to Switzerland’s attractiveness in terms of labour. Swiss workers have a reputation for being motivated, very well trained, and having a particularly well developed sense of ethics. Jura companies also have a valuable reserve of available and qualified manpower among the cross-border population from France and Germany.
Trained and multilingual staff
The Jura labour force is well trained thanks mainly to the excellent level of its technical schools. It is always possible to find staff in the Jura that meet the needs of a company, whatever the level required.
On the crossroads between the German and French speaking – Swiss and European – cultures, the Jura offers fertile ground for creativity. The official language is French, and the population speaks one or more foreign languages, mainly English and German, both studied during the compulsory schooling period.
Productivity and cost / benefit ratio
Thanks to the number of hours worked, a particularly high productivity level, a responsible work attitude (reduced absenteeism, virtual lack of strike action, strong motivation, etc.) and advantageous social charges compared to other European countries, the cost / benefit ratio is very interesting for employers. Although salaries are higher than in the rest of Europe, the overall cost of labour is perfectly competitive.
Liberal legislation and advantageous working conditions
The Swiss labour market is characterised by liberal legislation and exceptional social stability. Relations between employers and trade unions are based on negotiation. About 40% of private sector employees are covered by collective labour agreements – contracts negotiated between employer and employee representatives. Thanks to such agreements and to the personal responsibility of all concerned, strikes are practically non-existent in Switzerland.
Due to the good working conditions, employees are particularly motivated. A survey1 indicates that Switzerland is among the leaders in the list of 31 countries surveyed, and that the working conditions are good, even excellent. 91% of people questioned say that they are satisfied, or even very satisfied, with their conditions of work.
Foreign visitors admitted legally into Switzerland for a maximum period of three months and who do not have income from an activity in the country do not need a residence or work permit. However to live in Switzerland for more than three months and work there, obtaining a residence and/or work permit is obligatory.
Free movement of persons between Switzerland and the EU
Freedom of movement is being put in place through a progressive opening of the labour market between Switzerland and the European Union. It applies to employees, independent workers and persons without income who have sufficient resources. EU citizens will be treated on the basis of equality with Swiss citizens.
The preference for Swiss nationality, the control of salary and other conditions of work for EU citizens will disappear. In the services sector, foreign citizens and independent workers can work in Switzerland for a maximum period of 90 days per calendar year. For citizens of the first fifteen countries of the EU and of Malta and Cyprus (EU 17), short-term residence permit and work permit quotas, as well as those of the authorizations issued to cross-border workers, discontinued as of mid 2007. The transition to freedom of movement of persons in compliance with European law will be completed in 2011. Swiss nationals also enjoy freedom of movement in the countries of the EU. This freedom of movement is strengthened by a reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications and by the coordination of the assets of social insurance institutions.
Holders of an annual residence permit or a temporary residence permit are entitled to request a family grouping; a work permit is issued to the spouse and members of the family in descending order.
 Survey carried out by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions – www.eurofound.europa.eu
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