No more work permit quotas available for assignees from EU/EFTA member states

Swiss work permits are limited by quota, as follows:

  • 4’000 L permits for Non-EU nationals
  • 2’500 B permits for Non-EU nationals
  • 2’000 L permits for EU/EFTA assignees
  • 250 B permits for EU/EFTA assignees

Please note that the above quotas are only relevant for permits that are valid for more than 4 months or 120 days. All permits valid for up to 4 months or 120 days remain quota free.

Please note that permits for EU/EFTA citizens locally hired in Switzerland and subject to Swiss social security are not affected, as they are not subject to quota restrictions.

IMPORTANT! The quota for Non-EU work permits is released annually and dispatched to the cantons according to a specific number set in advance. The quota for work permits for EU /EFTA assignees is released quarterly for all of Switzerland.

No quotas left for EU/EFTA assignees until 1 April 2016
There are no more quotas left for assignees from EU/EFTA countries for the 1st quarter of 2016. This means that until 1 April 2016, it will not be possible to obtain new work permits valid for more than four months / 120 days for EU nationals assigned to Switzerland as part of an intra-company assignment or to work on a project at a client site.

Suggestions on how to deal with the current situation

  • For extensions of work permits no quota is required – business as usual.
  • Work permit conversions from a quota free work permit into a longer term work & resi-dence permit will not be possible until 1 April 2016. For such cases, the on-line notifica-tion procedure will likely have to be used in the next 30 days as an interim solution.

New applications for EU/EFTA assignees

  • For all EU/EFTA assignees who need to start to work in Switzerland prior to 1 April 2016, there are the following options: use the on-line notification or obtain 120 day / 4 month quota free work permits;
  • For EU/EFTA assignees who need to start to work in Switzerland as of 1 April 2016, an application for a work permit should be submitted as soon as possible.
  • As EU/EFTA work permits for local hires are not restricted by a quota, we advise, when-ever possible, to switch assignees to a local Swiss employment contract. This implies however the registration of the employee in the Swiss social security system and would result in the individual being subject to Swiss employment regulation

What changes can we expect in the coming months
Generally all work permit applications are increasingly scrutinized by the different immigration authorities involved. Due to cantonal differences and the persistent change in the practice, we highly recommend that companies carefully check the need and requirements for all new se-condments to Switzerland very closely.

We expect further pressure to provide detailed and well drafted applications that outline the specific need for each assignment and the economic benefit thereof for the company and the Swiss canton where the employee will be assigned. Therefore we kindly ask that you support us to obtain the required information, as detailed and specific as possible, on any upcoming as-signments.

PwC will continue to monitor the Swiss immigration authorities on federal and cantonal level very closely, and will continue to have close discussions with the various authorities involved. We will advise all clients on any upcoming changes and we will keep you updated throughout of any impending amendments.

Your PwC Contacts:

Mirela Stoia
PwC Geneva
+41 58 792 91 16
Martin Zeier
PwC Basel
+41 58 792 52 74

The changing role of the CFO: How energy transformation is shifting the CFO focus

Our new Thought Leadership report

The new report, which forms part of a series of PwC publications on energy transformation, looks at how the power sector CFO role is evolving, the challenges it needs to address and the capabilities that will be crucial for delivering first-class performance.

It looks at eight specific challenges arising out of energy transformation:

1. Anticipating and leveraging the impact of new technologies
2. Reassessing and restructuring the asset portfolio to optimise value
3. Designing new ventures and commercial arrangements
4. Achieving full recovery of prior investments
5. Influencing policymakers and regulators
6. Replacing declining revenues from traditional businesses
7. Measuring enterprise performance as business models shift
8. Attracting capital through appropriate risk allocation

Which are your challenges and how does this effects your company? Please get in touch with me for any further discussion.

Download the full report here.

Be ready: the new global P&U Thought Leadership report is coming…

We are pleased to announce the global launch of our new Thought Leadership report:

“The changing role of the CFO
How energy transformation is shifting the CFO focus”

The changing role of the CFO: how energy transformation is shifting the CFO focus shows how CFOs in the power sector are shifting from stewardship to  strategy, value realisation and optimisation. The new report, which forms part of a series of PwC publications on energy transformation, looks  at how the power sector CFO role is evolving, the challenges it needs to address and the capabilities that will be crucial for delivering first-class performance.

The report emphasises that the historical CFO capabilities related to management reporting, performance management and investor relationships will continue, but they will become more akin to minimum requirements. Alongside them, CFOs need to be better at communicating where strategy is taking the company and the link between strategy and value realisation.

Be ready for the launch on 24 November 2015!

2015 Global Equity Incentives Survey

PwC and the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP) are pleased to release the 2015 Global Equity Incentives Survey (GEIS) Executive Summary. Our survey is one of the most comprehensive studies available on the design and administration of equity incentive compensation plans for multinational companies. GEIS

Our 2015 GEIS illustrates interesting trends and news from the marketplace. Our 2012 survey showed a return to the basics after periods of economic boom and bust. At that time, companies were heavily focused on compliance and reacting to pay for performance requirements/expectations. Our 2015 results are reflective of the continuation of globalization. Not surprisingly, our 2015 survey clearly shows that our participants (virtually all U.S. multinationals) have expanded their reach of equity grantees more globally than ever before.

To access and download the executive summary, please click here.

We hope you find the results from the 2015 survey useful as you evaluate and compare your employee equity plans to those of your peers and design plans that are effective drivers of the behaviors necessary for your company’s success in this global economy.

Drop that jargon: It’s time for new HR metaphors

„All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.” – William Shakespeare 

Shakespeare has an invitation for us: “Imagine that we were all actors”, he asks. With his analogy between life and stage play, he chooses a lens through which the reader can look at the world. This makes it easy understand what he means; it also allows us to take the analogy further and to ask interesting questions: Are our possessions just props? Can we go “off stage”? Who is our audience?

The Power of Metaphors

Metaphors and analogies are an example of how language influences thinking in a subtle yet powerful way. On the one hand, they provide an easily accessible toolbox of mental models which ease thinking and communication. On the other hand, those very mental models rely on unspoken assumptions. Shakespeare’s analogy above suggest that there are two layers of reality (stage/audience), and that people play only one role at a time. Those assumptions remain unchallenged if we choose to use the metaphors.

Business contexts are not immune from language’s influence, as the abundance of jargons shows. Technical terms, abbreviations and buzzwords are an integral part of any discipline. Some of them cross boundaries and infect other areas. Young, conceptual disciplines such as HR are especially prone to borrowing jargon, as their language is still much more in flux as opposed to established areas such as chemistry. But if language influences thinking, wouldn’t the jargon we use influence (or bias) our decisions?

Talent Management: An Engineering Domain

Let’s take the example of Talent Management, where practitioners have become used to expressions such as “talent pipelines”, “platforms”, “lifecycles” or “recruiting”. All those terms are derived from other disciplines. In a quick and dirty text analysis of the most recent 25 articles from Harvard Business Review’s “Talent Management” category, I have found that 6 out of 10 jargon terms come from the engineering/physics area (e.g. “process”, “build”, “potential”, “system”), followed by military terms (“engage”, “recruit”, “strategy”). There are some, but only few terms from other areas.

When using these metaphors, we rely on assumptions from those very disciplines – be it a mechanistic engineering view that a “system” can be “built”, or the strategic military considerations that a “war for talent” can be “won”. But do we really want to accept those assumptions?

Where are the Other Metaphors?

Creativity techniques emphasize the importance of outside influence, stimulating “out of the box” thinking. How about using a different vocabulary for Talent Management? A change of language would introduce different mental models, challenge assumptions and help us find new approaches. Chemistry could help us find talent oxidation, free radicals and leadership crystallization; biology would introduce cross-pollination of skills, symbiotic development and talent spores; the arts might lead us to leadership genres, talent rituals and the right balance between skill expression and technique.

In the end, we might find out that the engineering language is still the best of all of those jargons – but borrowing a different toolbox for a project, workshop or strategy meeting might help you think differently about that well-worn hammer you’ve been using all those years.

What metaphors could help you rethink your talent strategy? Please contact me if you would like to discuss this topic.

People strategy for the digital age – A new take on talent

Businesses face some pressing questions about their future talent pipelines and people strategy. The pace of technological, political and economic change has left CEOs standing on constantly shifting. Just as the industrial revolution did one and a half centuries, the digital revolution is reshaping the way we live our lives and the way we work. It’s also forcing a fundamental transformation of business – changing the relationship with customers, bringing new entrants and their disruptive technologies, driving new channels, products and services, breaking down the walls between industries and, in many cases, forcing a basic rethink of the business model.

The speed of change makes it almost impossible to predict the future with any degree of certainty.
In such a climate, organisations need a credible and forward looking leader; a role that has never been more critical. CEOs need to understand how technology can improve their business and the customer experience, and plan for things that seem a distant dream. Denise Ramos, CEO of ITT Corporation, puts it like this: “You have to create multiple futures and multiple options for your company, because you don’t know when the world’s going to look like three to five years from now.”

One of the biggest headaches for CEOs is making sure that the organisation has the right people to cope with what lies ahead. There’s the basic question of planning for the skills that are needed now and in the future: Which roles will be automated? What new roles will be needed to manage and run emerging technology? What skills should the company be looking for, and training their people for? Where will we find the people we need?

But more importantly, CEOs need to be sure that the business is fit to react quickly to whatever the future may throw at it – and that means filling it with adaptable, creative people, working in a culture where energy fizzes and ideas spark into life. If they can’t be found, they must be created.

Whatever technological innovations are ahead, it’s the people that will make the difference between eventual success and failure. That’s why CEOs need a people strategy for the digital age.

Read more…

People strategy for the digital age – A new take on talent

PwC Golden Age Index – how well are countries harnessing the power of older workers?

One of the key megatrends affecting all developed countries is an ageing population. Harnessing the potential of older workers will therefore become an increasingly important source of competitive advantage for both nations and businesses.

To explore how the OECD economies compare with each other in this regard, PwC has developed a new ‘Golden Age index’ comparing how well they are utilising workers aged 55 and over. The index includes relative employment, earnings and training rates for older workers for 34 OECD countries over the period since 2003.

Key findings include:

  • Most OECD countries’ employment rate has risen over time, so our relative index performance remains middling (19th out of 34)
  • If e.g. the UK could boost its employment rate for 55-69 year olds to match that of Sweden, the best performing EU country, this could boost annual UK GDP by around £100 billion (5.4%).
  • The top five countries in the index are Iceland, New Zealand, Sweden, Israel and Norway, with Chile a fast riser since 2003 in 6th place. Switzerland is on place 11.
  • The US, South Korea, Japan and Estonia round out the top 10 on the index.

PwC Golden Age Index – how well are countries harnessing the power of older workers?

Read more…

Female millennials in financial services

Female Millennial in FSStrategies for a new era of talent

Diversity and inclusiveness are now competitive imperatives within an evolving financial services (FS) marketplace; investors want it, boards want it and clients demand it.

As businesses look to broaden their talent pool and attract people with fresh ideas and experiences, nearly 60% of the FS industry leaders taking part in PwC’s latest global CEO survey say their organisation now has a strategy to promote diversity. More than three-quarters of these CEOs believe that diversity has enhanced innovation, customer satisfaction and overall business performance.

Female millennials are set to play a critical part in future FS growth. With many organisations still finding it difficult to root out aspects of their culture which could lead to excessive risk-taking or regulatory breaches, attracting more women at all levels of the organisation could provide the catalyst for a real shift in attitudes and behaviour.

So what does the generation of women entering the workforce and moving into management positions want from the organisations they work for? We’ve just carried out a survey of more than 8,000 female millennials (women born between 1980 and 1995) from around the world, of which nearly 600 are working in FS (banking and capital markets, insurance and asset management). The findings provide valuable insights into the perceptions, aspirations and characteristics of women in FS, which can help your business to define and refine strategies for recruitment, retention and career development.

Download the full report here.

If you have any further questions please contact me.

Moving HR to the Cloud?

Navigate key barriers to boost success.

It’s no surprise that more and more companies are moving their HR applications to the cloud to boost innovation, increase flexibility and control costs. The shift, now at a frenzied pace, is fueling tremendous growth in the HR technology space. It is also creating uncertainty for HR business and technology leaders who are struggling with important questions such as:

  • Is the cloud right for my organization?
  • Does it make sense to move everything to the cloud or just certain process areas?
  • Is the move paying off for the early adopters?
  • What challenges are organizations facing with their migrations to cloud?

PwC’s 2014 HR Technology Survey of nearly 270 US-based companies, including a range of industries and company sizes, provides insight into these and other important issues facing today’s HR business and technology leaders. Clearly, the shift from on-premise Human Capital Management (HCM) to cloudbased HCM applications is a significant trend that cannot be ignored. Yet, despite high levels of satisfaction, HR business and technology leaders are finding that moving to the cloud requires a transformational mindset — one that many seem to undervalue and oversimplify.

The HR technology options to enable today’s business and people strategies can be overwhelming. In this paper, we’ll first look at the industry landscape, including the types of organizations moving to the cloud, top HR technology investments, and major trends driving HR cloud adoption. Next, we’ll look at primary challenges that HR business and technology leaders are encountering along the way. We’ll also provide key considerations to help smooth the transition and help make the journey worthwhile.

Download the survey results here.

If you have any further questions please contact me.

The most extraordinary technology of all

The role of people in a digital world

Capture In the digital world, everyone can be heard and everyone can contribute. We live in an age where Twitter has created an army of frontline news reporters at major events and disasters and where community forums such as tripadvisor and glassdoor roar the opinions of millions. The omnipresence of mobile devices has accelerated this trend; last year we reached the point where the number of mobile-connected devices in circulation exceeds the world’s population. Digital success is not about securing the best technology; the true value comes from the way your people use it.

During a transformation as rapid and life-altering as the digital age, the most dangerous thing an organisation can do is lose sight of the value of its people. The best, most innovative technology in the world won’t create value on its own. Success in the digital age doesn’t come down to securing the latest technology or by cutting costs through automation; it comes down to striking the right balance between digital and human innovation. A people strategy for the digital age.

Read more here.