Expats 2

Global mobility services

We support employers as well as employees in all issues concerning international work assignments.

Contact our experts

Whether you are posting abroad (outbound), to Switzerland (inbound) or within the EU/EFTA, whether teleworking (home office, workation or remote work) or cross-border commuters, have you thought about work and residence permits, equal pay regulations, taxes and social security? The Balmer-Etienne team is happy to support you in all questions concerning international mobility, whether frorm the perspective of the employer or the employee.

Here, you benefit from our interdisciplinary experience as well as our international professional network. In this way, we can offer automated standard solutions for standard cases. For example, the application and approval process for work assignments abroad can be automated, enabling all the departments involved in a company to handle the process easily. For more complex individual cases, we can develop customised and entrepreneurial solutions, provide support in setting up a workation or home office policy or conduct personalised workshops on the most important do's and don'ts.

What is international mobility?

International mobility describes the professional activity outside of the office premises of the company with whom the employer has the employment relationship. This can be the case, for example, for a longer period of time in the form of a classic secondment ("expatriates"). These are often employees who are posted to foreign branches of their employing company/organisation for a certain defined period of time. Also possible are shorter service assignments for example to projects or construction sites abroad. Also included are other forms of work, such as cross-border commuters working from home ("home office"), from a holiday destination ("workation") or in the case of employment relationships without a fixed workplace ("digital nomads"). Not to be forgotten are employees who reside in Switzerland with an employer based abroad (so-called ANOBAGs), who are subject to Swiss social security.

What needs to be considered?

In all of these constellations, social security, labour law and tax law aspects must be taken into account in addition to immigration law requirements. Did you know, for example, that not only Switzerland but also the EU has reporting and registration obligations as well as equal pay regulations? These apply to posted workers, whose presence - depending on the country - must be reported to the labour authority, the social security authority or the occupational safety authority prior to deployment. The Posted Workers Directive has been implemented in many EU/EFTA countries in such a way that the employer must report the business traveller - even if the stay only lasts one day. Failure to comply with the reporting obligation leads to considerable sanctions and far-reaching consequences such as penalty payments, legal penalties, bans on entry and even exclusion from the local market. It is therefore worth checking the relevant reporting regulations at an early stage.

In which areas are the Balmer-Etienne experts active for you?

  • Employment contract/work permit (more information under employment law)
  • Reporting procedure for the provision of services in Switzerland and the EU
  • Income tax/withholding tax
  • Subordination issues social insurances in the case of multi-country activities
  • Swiss social security
  • Tax clarifications regarding domicile of a permanent establishment, such as: When does teleworking constitute a permanent establishment?
  • Teleworking and consequences for employees and employers
  • Support for employees without employers liable to pay contributions in Switzerland (ANOBAG) in the area of social security
  • Cross-border topics

May we help you further?

  • Stefanie Gugger

    Stefanie Gugger

    lic. iur., Swiss Certified Tax Expert

  • Andreas Lipp


    MLaw UZH, Tax advisor