Barclays Bank to lay off 3,700

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The shakeout in the financial world continues, with Barclays the latest bank to announce a major programme of layoffs: 3,700 jobs will be cut, with a savings of £1.7 billion, chief executive Antony Jenkins said Tuesday 12 February. The bank, like Switzerland’s UBS, has been hurt by its role in the Libor […]

Weed, meet new worker: South Africa solves 2 problems

ILO: 20m hectares of imported “Alien plants” have created 14,000  new jobs GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The silver lining in South Africa’s imported alien plants story is that the undesirable weeds have led to the creation of the Working for Water project that employs 14,000 people. Another 10,000 jobs are planned, says the International Labour Organization […]

Swiss system should encourage keeping seniors at work: federal report


BERN, SWITZERLAND – A demographics study on retirement trends carried out for the Swiss Federal Social Insurance Office shows that a tendency towards taking early retirement is ending and people are working longer, in particular if the work conditions are amenable. But while there appears to be interest in working after the official retirement age, […]

Lens gets green light for 250-student int’l school in Valais


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The village of Lens, near Crans-Montana in canton Valais, has been given the go-ahead to open an international school for at least 250 students that will cost CHF50 million and eventually accept students from ages 6 to 17. The secondary school will be built once the primary school is operating. Four-fifths of […]

Border workers given year of grace by France over insurance


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – French residents who work in Switzerland have been given a reprieve on paying into the national social security system, by the French government. The Groupement transfrontalier européen (GTE) in Annemasse was told Monday morning by a Socialist minister that Marisol Touraine, minister for social affairs, has decided to leave the deadline at 31 May […]

Youth employment programme at the Swiss Post and Swisscom

BERN, SWITZERLAND – The 2012 school year is just beginning but two giant Swiss companies are getting ready to hire over 1,000 youth through apprenticeship programmes. The call goes out to those aged 16 to 25 who have already finished or will have finished their obligatory schooling by May 2013. The Swiss Post has announced […]

Merck Serono confirms closing Geneva operation

€30 million fund to encourage employees to create startups GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Merck Serono confirmed Tuesday morning 19 June that it will go ahead with plans to close its Geneva European head office, “After a thorough review of these proposals, the Company has determined that these proposals are not viable or practicable given the need to […]

Swiss Six Group cuts 4% of workforce: 150 jobs to go

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Six Group, a financial services provider owned by 150 banks, announced 28 February that it will cut 150 jobs as part of cost-trimming measures, despite 2011 profits of CHF216 million. Full results will be reported 27 March. The company, which runs payment settlements operations and the Swiss stock market, says it has […]

Novartis’s Prangins site to remain open

NYON, SWITZERLAND – Novartis will not close its Prangin site and all jobs there will be saved, the company will be investing more money in the plant, canton Vaud will give the company a tax break and some of the unused space will be developed into housing. Tough talks between Novartis workers and managers, the […]

Swiss rank sixth in work life balance

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland comes in sixth, behind three Nordic countries, The Netherlands and Belgium (not having a leader doesn’t count against you, it appears), for work life balance, according to the Paris-based OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). The report was published in October 2011 but unlike quality of life rankings for countries […]