Declaration on the future of work and the social partnership in Switzerland

Bern, 18.10.2018 - At a ceremony held in Bern on 18 October 2018, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann and the Swiss social partners’ federations signed a tripartite declaration on the future of work and the social partnership in Switzerland in the era of the digitalisation of the economy, worked out under the direction of SECO’s Labour Directorate. The event was attended by Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Digitalisation is having a significant influence on structural change and economic growth. A country such as Switzerland, which lacks natural resources but has an innovative economy, needs to make the best possible use of the opportunities that digitalisation brings. Digital transformation is also creating major challenges for the social partnership. Swiss social partners have therefore decided to join forces to tackle the changes brought about by the digitalisation of the economy and technological developments in the workplace and in society.

By signing this declaration, the social partners express their continued commitment to a strong social partnership that is equipped to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s workplace. They aim to continue in their efforts to consolidate the competitiveness and success of the Swiss economy, while at the same time adapting employment and social conditions in order to create and retain decent jobs for highly qualified workers. The signing of the tripartite declaration is one of the events being held to mark the ILO’s centenary in 2019.

The parties recognise that our system of vocational education and training and collective employment agreements play a key role in the search for innovative and inclusive ways of adapting to the structural changes caused by digitalisation.

In addition, the social partners want to exploit the opportunities that technological developments bring to achieve a better balance between work and family and leisure and working time.

The parties are dedicated to continuing their open and pragmatic tripartite dialogue on the issues mentioned in the declaration.

Lastly, the declaration also confirms Switzerland’s commitment to international labour standards and the fundamental goals of the ILO, namely social justice, social dialogue and creating decent jobs. The declaration acknowledges the ILO’s key role in promoting multilateral social partnerships as an instrument for developing and strengthening confidence in the future of employment around the globe.

The associations that signed the declaration were represented by Valentin Vogt, president of the Confederation of Swiss Employers; Daniela Schneeberger, vice president of the Swiss Union of Crafts and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises; Adrian Wüthrich, president of Travail.Suisse, and Vania Alleva, vice president of the Confederation of Swiss Trade Unions.

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State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
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CH-3003 Bern
Tel. +41 58 462 56 56


State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

Last modification 27.04.2016

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