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16 August 2017
In June 2017 the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) issued guidelines focusing on intragroup staff transfers. In many cases these require governmental authorisation based on proven professional qualification and the provision of financial security (mostly a bank guarantee).
In SECO's understanding of the applicable staff leasing regulations, intragroup staff leasing without governmental authorisation was possible only where there is substantial professional experience abroad or where the knowledge has been transferred (eg, the introduction of a new machine or the installation of a group software). However, SECO has increasingly noted that intragroup staff leasing has become a commercial leasing activity.
SECO emphasises that "[special purpose vehicles] established by multinationals in Switzerland to operate group-wide cross-border staff leasing will now need a governmental license". In other words, intragroup staff leasing is permissible without a governmental licence only if it:
Within these limitations, the intragroup staff transfer from a parent company based in Switzerland to a group company abroad, and vice versa, remains allowed. SECO also clarifies that special purpose vehicles mainly established by multinationals in Switzerland to operate group-wide cross-border staff leasing will need governmental authorisation.
There is a question as to whether the guidelines on intragroup staff leasing are business friendly. Based on long-standing industry experience, multinationals operating an expatriate business from Switzerland or abroad usually have good financial standing and, in most cases, well-staffed and seasoned HR departments which can handle expatriates professionally. Further, expatriates are usually well paid and incentivised, and do not require the guideline's increased social protection.
For further information on this topic please contact Thomas Rihm at Rihm Rechtsanwälte by telephone (+41 44 377 77 20) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Rihm Rechtsanwälte website can be accessed at www.rihm-law.ch.
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