Amendments of the Federal Code on Accident Insurance

Federal Code on Accident Insurance

The Federal Council has decided to put into force some changes of the Federal Code on Accident Insurance ("Unfallversicherungsgesetz"; UVG) as per 1 January 2017. Some of the changes are relevant for daily employment law practice, including the following:

  • Every employee will be included in the employer’s accident insurance from the start date of the contract even if such day is no working day.
  • After the end of the employment relationship (or from the date, the employees claim for at least half the salary) the employee will continue to be included in the employer’s accident insurance for 31 days (rather than 30 days as it was the case until now) unless the employee starts working for another employer and is thus included in this employer’s accident insurance.
  • After the end of the employment relationship the employee has the option to conclude a private insurance ("Abredeversicherung") for 6 months (rather than 180 days as it was the case until now) with the employer’s insurance company.

The employer remains obliged to inform the employee about insurance law consequences at the end of the employment relationship. Therefore, many employers have standard information leaflets and/or standard information passages in their standard termination letters or termination agreements respectively. Such documents should now be updated to reflect the new time frames (31 instead of 30 days and 6 months instead of 180 days).

Authors: Martina Aepli, Michèle Stutz

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Consequences of Brexit

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Three years after the decision of the British people to leave the union of states, the orderly EU withdrawal is now final. In a transition period, which for the time being will last until 31 December 2020, negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom on future contractual agreements are now taking place. This period can be extended for a maximum of two years. Until then, the United Kingdom is treated as an EU member state, and the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) between Switzerland and the EU will remain in force for the duration of this transition period. Therefore, with respect to the previous residence and immigration regime, the question will arise as to whether and how nationals of both countries can acquire or maintain their rights according to the AFMP.

Portfolio transfer/asset transfer

The ongoing phase of low interest rates and the stricter capitalization requirements of the Swiss Solvency Test (SST) mean that insurers are increasingly combing their portfolios for unprofitable or capital-intensive business and, as a result, are no longer writing the unviable business (run-off). In order to reduce the technical provisions on the books, the active reduction of run-off portfolios is becoming increasingly popular. This can be done by transferring a company, a portfolio or assets. In doing so, the run-off portfolio is finally settled for the transferring insurer. Another possibility is the (retrospective) reinsurance (commutation) of the business, a purely balance sheet-related adjustment of the run-off portfolio. In the following, portfolio transfer and asset transfer will be dealt with in more detail.

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