twitter   facebook   facebook
← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Abolition of the possibility to requalify to unemployment insurance through participation in active labour market programmes.

Country of implementation
Switzerland
General short description of the innovation
Since 2003, participating in contributory public employment programmes financed out of the federal unemployment insurance over a sufficiently long period does not any longer allow for requalifying to unemployment insurance benefits. / Since 2011, the principle has been extended to contributory public employment programmes financed out of Cantonal (or municipal) funds, and offered to those having exhausted their right to unemployment insurance, and in receipt of Cantonal assistance-based schemes. / These changes are part of the 3rd and 4th revisions of the federal law on unemployment insurance, 2003 and 2011.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
In force since 2003 for public employment programmes funded at federal level, and 2011 for Cantonal public employment programmes.
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Budgets: for the 2011 reform, 90 mios CHF ? 74 mios Euros - annual cost savings for the federal unemployment insurance funds, which are partly transferred to Cantonal funds (from one to two thirds of total savings depending on estimations)
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: unknown
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The objective was first to avoid public employment programmes being used as means to foster requalification to unemployment insurance benefits rather than returns onto the labour market, and second to abolish cost transfers between unemployment insurance and social assistance, both funded at different state levels. / For the federal government, the measure was also a means to achieve cost savings.
Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
strong
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
moderate
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • benefit eligibility (stricter eligibility to unemployment insurance benefits)
Intended target group
Unemployed people having exhausted their entitlement to unemployment insurance benefits.
Working age population
  • main source of income: social protection (Unemployment benefits - Social Assistance)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • central state
  • regional government (Cantonal governments)
Clarification of the role of various actors
Regional governments that made extensive use of public employment programmes to reduce their social assistance caseloads have been forced to rethink the goals and supply of these active labour market programmes.
Intended output
  • benefit eligibility (restricted access to unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed (having exhausted the UI entitlement) )
  • governance (abolition of ineffective practices of cost transfers between the federal and cantonal levels, and encouragement of a greater coordination between state levels. )
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
The reforms have reduced the number of long-term unemployed experiencing repeated periods on unemployment insurance. It is however difficult to evaluate concrete impacts on long-term unemployment ratesThe measures have probably contributed to reduce unemployment insurance caseloads, but no concrete figure exists, and it is unknown whether the changes have increased chances to find employment and get out of social benefits
Share this page: