At the beginning of this year, the Swiss social security
administration digitised its social security application
processes. The applicable legislation platform of Switzerland
(ALPS) has replaced paper applications to establish the
appropriate social security treatment of cross-border mobile
employees. The introduction of ALPS is part of a project
throughout the EU and the European Free Trade Association
(EFTA) to share information centrally – the electronic
exchange of social security information (EESSI). The electronic
exchange of data is stipulated in EU regulations and is
mandatory for all member states as of July 1 2019.
When is ALPS applicable?
The applicable legislation platform is used for applications
to either the federal authorities or the cantonal social
security offices for employees and self-employed individuals in
- Postings within the EU/EFTA, treaty
countries and non-treaty countries (including short- and
long-term postings, the extension of postings and voluntary
continuation of mandatory Swiss social security
- Working in two or more EU/EFTA member
- Insurance coverage for accompanying family
Paper applications generally are no longer accepted,
although exceptions may be granted by the authorities on a
What does ALPS do?
Social security certificates (A1, CoC, etc.) can be applied
for online via ALPS and downloaded. There are no direct
individual email communications. Employers need to provide a
central contact email address to receive all notifications.
If the authorities require further information or documents
to process an application, a notification email will be sent to
the employer's central email address.
Employers have online real-time access to all applications
handled though ALPS and can monitor the status of each
What does this mean for employers?
The applicable legislation platform provides several
advantages for employers, including:
- A common online application form and
process relevant for all 26 cantons;
- Faster processing times, enabling global
mobility functions to react more quickly to new situations
- Real-time access to the status of pending
- Enhanced security of confidential employee
The platform is an important step in improved filing
efficiency. Applications that once took weeks, now only take a
few days to be handled by the authorities.
The applicable legislation platform is a fairly
user-friendly, efficient and transparent technology solution
which is compatible with EU/EFTA legal requirements. Managing
applications has become simpler. It is expected that the
arrival of ALPS will mean that the authorities are less
tolerant of non-compliant cases. Employers should consider
training mobility professionals or designating representatives
to manage their ALPS account.
David Wigersma (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Tabea Nyfeler (email@example.com)
Tel: +41 58 279 9260 and +41 58 279 7426