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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Possibility to temporarily raise the maximum duration of unemployment insurance benefits in regions with high unemployment rates

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
The federal state is given the possibility to prolong the maximum duration of unemployment insurance (UI) from 400 to 520 daily allowances (from approx. 18 to 24 months) in Cantons experiencing unemployment rates above five percent. The prolongation takes place at the request of the Cantons, and is contingent upon Cantonal financial participation (20% of the costs of the measure). / This possibility was introduced with the 3rd revision of the law on unemployment insurance which came into force in 2003, but again abolished in 2011 in the framework of the 4th revision of unemployment insurance. / In 2004, the federal government introduced the possibility to restrict regional prolongations to the unemployed above 50 years old. /
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: temporary
  • Budgets: estimated at 30 mios CHF ? 24,7 mios Euros - each year for the federal UI funds before its introduction . But the measure proved more costly. In 2004, it effectively cost 72 mios CHF- 59,2 mios Euros -, financed by the federal unemployment insurance funds (80%) and recipient Cantons (20%)
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: unknown
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The measure aimed to guaranteeing a sufficient social protection against the risk of unemployment in economically disadvantaged areas. It also aimed to delay transitions from unemployment insurance to social assistance and to minimize the financial burden for economically weak Cantons and regions that are responsible for funding social assistance in Switzerland.
Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
strong. The measure aimed to minimize the impact of the economic downturn of the early 2000s, and mitigate other cost containment measures included in the 3rd UI reform.
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • encompassing security
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • benefit duration (possibility to extend the maximum benefit duration by 120 daily allowances in certain areas. )
Intended target group
Unemployed, and more particularly the long-term unemployed
Working age population
  • main source of income: social protection (Unemployment benefits)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (regional placement offices (Public Employment Services) )
  • central state
  • regional government
Clarification of the role of various actors
Regional placement offices only involved as implementing actors.
Intended output
  • benefit duration (extension of the maximum benefit duration by 120 daily allowances in economically disadvantages areas. )
Intended and unintended outcomes
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