Swiss Economy

Switzerland has a strong stable economy and the country is consistently in need of skilled and experienced professionals across a range of sectors. As well as being a global financial services and banking hub, Switzerland also offers a wealth of opportunities for talented contractors in many growing sectors including engineering, pharmaceutical, bio-pharma and technology and bio-tech.


One of Switzerland’s sectors popular with contractors is the life sciences sector. The chemical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors in Switzerland are growing steadily and are expected to remain strong for years to come.

With significant pharmaceutical plants being built and planned throughout the country, there is currently a high demand for qualified and skilled workers within engineering and construction. At the moment there are many contractors from all over the UK, Ireland and further afield coming to help out on various projects. Contractors can be placed for 12, 18 and 24 months. These long-term, large scale projects provide the opportunity to work within some of the largest multinational corporations in the world.

Technology and IT

Switzerland is known for its innovation and strong banking sector so it’s no surprise that it has evolved into a leading global hub for dynamic and innovative fintech start-ups. Fintech and insurtech are among the fastest growing industries in Switzerland and these new industries require professionals with unique skills in financial services, digital currency and cybersecurity.

In 2017, the Swiss Federal Council decided on new fintech regulations. These regulations reduced barriers to entry for fintech firms, so we can expect to see even more foreign fintech businesses entering Switzerland in the coming years.

High quality of Life

Switzerland is consistently ranked among one of the best places in the world to live. Robust infrastructure, reliable public transport systems and high earning potential are all factors that draw people to work in Switzerland. With its central European location, Switzerland provides lots of opportunities to travel to neighbouring countries such as Italy, France, Germany and Austria. When not working, Switzerland offers many cultural, leisure and sporting activities. Changing seasons means that there are plenty of opportunities to get out and pursue outdoor sports such as to hiking or biking in the hot summers and skiing or snowboarding in the snowy winters.

However, you cannot just fly over to Switzerland and expect to start work immediately. Many factors need to be considered beforehand, such as work permits, how are you going to be employed and healthcare insurance, etc.

Below are some factors that have to be considered:

Work permits: All EU members can apply for a work permit without too much hassle. Once you have an employment contract and a place to live, you can apply for a permit that will be valid for the duration of your project.

Social security contributions: Switzerland is known for its low tax rates and has a higher retention rate compared to other European countries. Social security contributions depend on the worker’s salary level and the location of their employer amongst other things (marital status, age, number of dependants). The payments are mandatory and cover all the typical things that you would expect, including accident insurances and family allowances, for example. Social security is mandatory, and there are two sides to the social costs – employer costs (paid by the employer) and employee costs (paid by the employee). Those who are working in Switzerland on a contract basis often have to pay both sides.

Healthcare: Healthcare insurance is compulsory in Switzerland. Anyone who is living or working in Switzerland must have health insurance. While health insurance can be expensive, it does provide access to one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

Getting a lucrative contract role in Switzerland is definitely a great plan, however, you must make sure that you engage with a payroll company that can help you with all the administrative hurdles. Regardless of how much experience you have working globally, Switzerland has very different rules and regulations when it comes to contracting so it’s important to use a local payroll company. A local payroll company will give you peace of mind and will enable you to stay 100% compliant so that you can fully enjoy your Swiss experience.

Lucy Peel
Lucy is our sales executive based in our office in Switzerland. She writes about employment related matters and contracting in Switzerland.