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  State Secretariat for Economic Affairs - Directorate of Labour


Description sub-topic

Recent and current changes in laws relating to the status/organisation/function of the PES

What is changing, what has changed (legal)?

The unemployment insurance legislation (German abbreviation AVIG) has been revised. The most important amendments are available in detailed form at:

The purpose of the revision was to iron out the structural deficits that were present in the unemployment insurance and repay the insurance debts that had accumulated. The revision envisages an equally weighted compromise between reduction of expenditure (benefits), currently running at 622 million francs, and revenue amounting to 646 million francs. With regard to revenue, the revision stipulates an increase in the contribution rate from 2.0% to 2.2% of annual income with an assessment threshold of 126,000 francs. Henceforth one percent of the solidarity contribution will be introduced via the salary tranche which lies between the insurance assessment threshold income (126,000 francs) and two and a half times this amount (315,000 francs). In the context of lowering benefits, it should, for example, be noted that the contribution and benefit periods will be more closely linked in the future.

The three implementation phases of the Unemployment Insurance Legislation (AVIG)

Before 1996: implementation of AVIG by employment offices at the local level (“every local employment office does what it thinks is right”).

Dilemma: unemployment insurance is de facto entirely financed by the Confederation. However, the decisions affecting expenditure were made by the cantons.    

From 1996 to 2000: RAV set up Þ fewer “actors” in the market, professionalisation of placement and activities. Before 2000, however, the RAV at the target level had been orientated on an extremely heterogeneous basis. Input controlling existed according to the targets specified and detailed regulations. There was no outcome liability on the part of the cantons or the RAV.

Today: 132 RAVs; outcome oriented control; implemented based on a performance agreement concluded between the Confederation and cantons Þ in order to determine the results to be achieved.

Since 2000 the public service offices have been concentrating their activities on a common objective.

The outcome oriented control will be effected by means of four indicators targeting a rapid and lasting reintegration into the labour market.

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