29.07.2020 – 10:00
Swiss Staffingindex - Coronavirus slump of 22.8 percent, 20,000 short-time workers threatened with unemployment
The coronavirus crisis has rocked the staff leasing sector. The number of working hours rendered during the second quarter of the year was around 23 percent lower than the previous year, without taking short-time working hours into account. This is illustrated by the industry barometer that is the Swiss Staffing Index. Some 20,000 temporary employees are currently on short-time working. This employment measure will no longer be available once the federal government's emergency decree expires on August 31, 2020. If the employees affected cannot be fully reinstated after this date, it is likely that their contracts will be terminated.
Industry association sounds the alarm
In the critical words of Leif Agnéus, President of the industry association swissstaffing: "It is incomprehensible that the federal government's emergency decree is not being extended until the parliament's new Covid-19 law is adopted. The lack of a subsequent solution for temporary employees on short-time working threatens an unnecessary number of temporary employment relationships from early September onwards." One particularly delicate issue is the fact that even though further, most likely regional or sector-specific lockdowns cannot be ruled out, the new law does not offer any further short-time working solutions for temporary employees. Staffing service providers are taking their responsibilities seriously during this crisis and are not just putting all temporary employees across the board on short-time working, despite public pressure to do so. Instead, as provided for by the law and decree, they are limiting their applications to longer-term employment contracts. Leif Agnéus emphasizes: "Parliament must act urgently to incorporate short-time working for temporary employees into the law."
French-speaking and Italian-speaking Switzerland particularly affected The coronavirus and resulting lockdown have hit French-speaking and Italian-speaking Switzerland hard, both from a health perspective and in terms of the economy. A gfs-zürich survey of swissstaffing members showed that the number of temporary employees in these regions fell by 80 to 90 percent during the lockdown. By comparison, the number of temporary employees in German-speaking Switzerland fell by just over 40 percent. A significant portion of this decrease is not due to redundancies but rather to limited-term contracts coming to an end combined with a lack of new recruitment. What is disconcerting for the future is the fact that business activities have not yet picked up strongly across Switzerland, despite the lockdown measures being eased in June. However, French-speaking and Italian-speaking Switzerland have fortunately enjoyed a faster recovery.
More statistics can be found at this link. https://www.swissstaffing.ch/en/Sector-Politics/Statistics-of-the-sector/Introduction.php
Marius Osterfeld, Economist
Tel: 044 388 95 70 / 079 930 45 25
Blandina Werren, Head of Communications
Tel: 044 388 95 35