19 April 2022

FAQ Employing of protection seekers from the Ukraine

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In our article, we have answered frequently asked questions by employers in connection with the employment of protection seekers from the Ukraine.

Since the outbreak of the Ukraine war at the end of February 2022, Ukrainian protection seekers throughout Europe have been fleeing from the war impacts. On March 11, 2022, after a short consultation period, the Federal Council decided that the protection status S will be activated for Ukrainians (this status was originally created in the context of the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s). Since March 12, 2022, Ukrainian protection seekers no longer have to go through an ordinary asylum procedure, but receive a residence permit more quickly thanks to the protection status S. This is even though the threshold for third-country nationals to obtain a residence and work permit is generally higher.

Q: What is the protection status S?

A: The protection status S is a national mechanism for a faster granting of temporary protection and is based on the Council Directive 2001/55/EC of July 20, 2001. The protection status S can be applied for by people who had a valid residence permit in the Ukraine before fleeing and cannot safely and permanently return to their home country. Gainful employment (including self-employment) can be taken up without a waiting period after obtaining the protection status S (art. 53 para. 1 ASEO). This residence title also allows family reunification and travel abroad without prior authorisation (art. 9 para. 8 TDocO).

Q: For what period is the protection status S granted?

A: With the protection status S, the right of residence is limited to one year, but can be extended (art. 45 AsylO 1). After a stay of at least five years in Switzerland, protection seekers receive a residence permit B, which is limited in time until the temporary protection is lifted (art. 74 para. 2 AsylA).

Q: How must employers proceed in the hiring process?

A: For the employment of people with the protection status S, the employer must obtain a permit from the responsible canton (art. 18 lit. b FNIA). After receiving the application, the labour authority of this canton checks the employer's wage and working conditions (art. 53 para. 1 ASEO). In doing so, the employer must comply with the standards customary in the region and industry (art. 22 para. 1 FNIA).

Q: Who supports those seeking protection in finding a job?

A: The regional employment centres (RAV) advise Ukrainians who obtained the protection status S in finding a job. The canton of Zurich employs specialized personnel to support the protection seekers. Furthermore, education and training as well as German courses are offered to facilitate the entry into the labour market.

Q: What is the level of education of those seeking protection?

A: In principle, the qualification level of the Ukrainian population is due to the education system comparatively high. The German courses offered by the RAV can help to further increase the qualifications of those seeking protection.

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