Basel – dynamic and innovative

Basel is one of the most successful economic regions in the world. Today, Basel is regarded as being on of the globally leading locations for Life Sciences and is a top address for Nano-technology in Europe. In addition to major companies, the region also has a large number of SMEs and a rapidly growing number of successful start-ups and spin-offs. In and around Basel, you will find a unique density of innovative companies, a cosmopolitan culture, an international and business-friendly environment, good working conditions and a quality of life that meets the highest requirements.

The Hammering Man by the artist Jonathan Borofsky on Aeschenplatz.
The Hammering Man by the artist Jonathan Borofsky on Aeschenplatz.

Working in Basel

The office building "White Plaza" by the renowned architect Richard Meier in the vicinity of the SBB railway station.
The office building of the Bank for International Settlement by Mario Botta at the Aeschplatz.

Good reasons for Basel

Basel is an extremely dynamic economic region and one of the world’s leading locations for Life Sciences. Two of the world’s five largest pharmaceutical companies – Novartis and Roche – were founded in Basel and also have their headquarters here. A large number of innovative research companies have grown up around them, in the areas of chemicals, biology, medicine and nanotechnology. Other industries have also enhanced Basel’s international reputation: trade and logistics, financial services and insurance, IT, design and architecture. They have all created countless exciting jobs and have attracted many highly-skilled people from all over the world.

Tens of thousands of Germans and French employees cross the borders daily in order to work in Basel and profit from excellent working conditions: high wages, low deductions, low taxes and good social security. Many interesting jobs are thereby available in Basel in an exciting and dynamic environment.

On the other hand, companies can find highly motivated and committed employees in Basel. At 40 to 42.5 hours per week, working hours are longer than most countries in Europe. There is also a very favourable environment for business, and the local authorities are very cooperative. All these factors make Basel an attractive place to live and work.

Working conditions

Working conditions in Switzerland are excellent. They are based upon a well-established social partnership between employer and employee. The first two or three months in a new job are usually seen as a trial period, with a period of notice of between a few days and a maximum of two weeks. Once employees have reached permanent status, the period of notice is generally one to six months.

Working hours are between 40 and 42.5 hours per week, with at least 4 weeks paid holiday a year. Pregnant women benefit from job protection, and receive at least 14 weeks’ maternity leave, whilst fathers receive five weeks’ paternity leave.


Salaries are generally paid on a monthly Basis. Payment of a 13th monthly salary is a common practice. Many companies have profit-sharing schemes, and pay out (voluntary) bonuses when business is good.


In Switzerland, employees with children receive a mandatory child’s allowance for each child, the amount of which varies from canton to canton. In Basel-Stadt, many companies also pay an additional education allowance to employees with children. Other allowances vary from employer to employer.


Contributions towards the obligatory old-age pension, "Alters- und Hinterlassenenversicherung", AHV (Old Age and Survivors Insurance), "Invaliditätsversicherung", IV (Invalidity Insurance) and the "Erwerbsersatzordnung", EO (Substitute Employment Regulation). Unemployment Insurance amounts to about 1.5%. Both employers and employees contribute to the social security system. Employees’ contributions are deducted directly from the monthly salary. Taxes are to be paid extra.

Social Security

The system of old age pensions in Switzerland is based on three pillars. The 1st and the 2nd pillars are obligatory for employees, and are managed by the state. The funds come from salary deductions. The Alters- und Hinterlassenenversicherung AHV/IV (Old Age and Survivors Insurance) is based on the principle of solidarity between the generations: Those working today and paying into the AHV, are paying the pension money for the elderly, who have paid their contributions while still working. The 2nd pillar consists the pension funds that are obligatory for all employees. Employees and employers pay the contributions into a personal account, where the pension capital is accumulated over the years. The 3rd pillar is voluntary, however. Contributions to a private retirement account or into a private pension insurance can be deducted from tax up to a statutory maximum level.

Work permits

As a rule, companies submit work permit applications directly to the cantonal authorities on behalf of their foreign employees. With employees from non-EU/EFTA countries, the application has to be passed on to the "Bundesamt für Ausländerfragen", BFA (Federal Office for Aliens). Find more information with the Office of Economy and Labour of Basel-Stadt.

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