A tour de force for helping businesses

Thousands of businesses in the Canton of Basel-Stadt have received several hundred millions of Swiss Francs as short-time working compensation – thanks to the swift help of the Office of Economy and Labour.

4'000 companies, 8'000 orders, 340 million Swiss Francs – the figures are remarkable. In the time between 16 March 2020 and 10 January 2021 the Section Unemployment Insurance of the Office of Economy and Labour (AWA) of the Canton of Basel-Stadt has issued more than 8000 orders for the pre-registration for short-time working. Shortly before Christmas, more than 4'000 companies in the canton have received a total of roughly 340 million Swiss Francs in short-time working compensation. These payments have been executed by the Public Unemployment Fund, a section within AWA.  

Expert help – helped by experts

The achievement required a massive effort – which, as should be noted, is still ongoing. For this, «a substantial increase in staff and manpower is needed», says Jennifer Crettaz, Team Manager of the section Short-time Working, Bad Weather and Insolvency Compensation. In hindsight, however, the lessons learnt in the past years are clear: «During this crisis we had the chance to prove that we are perfectly able to offer swift and competent support to companies in need.»

How companies can expedite support measures

Crettaz has compiled a list of activities that can help companies in need of support measures expedite the release of compensations:

  • Monthly applications should be fully completed and signed.
  • Make sure to include your company’s business registration number.
  • Include and send all attachments and addenda mentioned on the form.  
  • List all fully approved persons (according to the pre-registration) on your accounting statement, instead of only persons affected by short-time working.
  • File applications within three months after expiration of accounting period (applicable deadline is postmarked date or receipt of email).

Communicate electronically

Ideally, applications should be filed either by regular mail or by e-mail, not both, as redundancy increases processing efforts for the Unemployment Fund, which slows down overall processing of applications significantly. Crettaz recommends electronical filing, i.e. just submitting your application by email. «This facilitates confirmation that an application was submitted within the three month deadline», she says, noting that paragraph 38 section 1 of the unemployment insurance law prevents goodwill on the part of the canton. The three-month deadline for applications and forfeiture of coverage respectively are mandated by the Federal Government.

Inform yourself proactively

Just a few minutes invested in due diligence will yield information accelerating the processing of applications. Most of the information is contained in the forms themselves. The websites of the Federal Government’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO and the Unemployment Fund contain plenty of helpful information as well. According to Crettaz, the «FAQs» of the SECO further allow you to inform yourself proactively: «Usually, these instruments already answer the majority of further enquiries.»