Row over France-Switzerland cross border workers’ unemployment benefit

The current system leaves France hundreds of millions of euros out of pocket each year, an MP says

The current system has cost France €8.1 billion between 2011 and 2022, Mr Roseren MP says

A French MP is calling for a change in the law on cross-border commuters on the Franco-Swiss frontier who become unemployed, saying current rules disproportionately impact France.

Xavier Roseren, Renaissance MP (centre) for Haute-Savoie - which sits on the Swiss border - is calling on the EU to make a change, saying that the current laws are financially mismatched.

Current laws require the employing state to pay a minimum of three months’ wages to the recently-unemployed person.

In 2020, France’s bill for cross border workers who become unemployed came to €920 million with more than two-thirds (€667 million) of this paid to people in France who had been employed in Switzerland, despite these employees having paid all their contributions in Switzerland.

Switzerland has only reimbursed France €150 million for its part in the arrangement, leaving France out of pocket. Mr Roseren said that the system has cost France €8.1 billion between 2011 and 2022. 

The European Federation for the Sustainable Development of the Regions, has also called the current arrangement a “costly anomaly suffered by France”.

France recently attempted to reform the law, but was unsuccessful. Mr Roseren is appealing to the EU again as the bloc has changed presidency since the last attempt.