Chapter I. Legislative texts concerning the legal status of the United Nations and related intergovernmental organizations

LEGISLATIVE TEXTS CONCERNING THE LEGAL STATUS OF

THE UNITED NATIONS AND RELATED INTERGOVERN-MENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Switzerland

Directive on hiring of private servants by international civil servants1

Preamble

International civil servants who work for intergovernmental international organizations which have entered into a Headquarters Agreement2 with Switzerland, and who qualify for diplomatic status, enjoy the same privileges as diplomatic agents. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations dated 18 April 1961 (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”) applies to this type of international official by analogy. The legal framework governing their privileges and immunities is defined by the Convention and by the Headquarters Agreement.

Certain categories of international civil servants may, under certain conditions, employ a private servant who is eligible to hold a legitimation card issued by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE). The terms of any employment contract are subject to the following rules and regulations drawn up by the DFAE as the authority having jurisdiction to determine the status of holders of diplomatic legitimation cards in Switzerland.

  1. Scope and definitions

    1.1. International civil servant

    The expression “international civil servant” means a natural person, male or female, employed by an intergovernmental international organization which has entered into a Headquarters Agreement with Switzerland, and to whom such organization has given the status of international civil servant in full.

    Persons affected by this Directive and covered by the expression “international civil servants” are members of the senior management team, high-ranking officials and professional category staff (see article 2 of this Directive).

    1.2. Private servant

    The expression “private servant” as defined in article 1, letter (h), of the Convention means a natural person, male or female, who is employed in the domestic service of an international civil servant.

    Private servants are eligible to hold a DFAE type “F” legitimation card. This Directive applies to them.

    1.3. Service staff

    According to article 1, letter (g), of the Convention, the expression “members of the service staff” means members of the staff of the mission employed in the service of the mission. This category was attributed, by analogy, to persons holding high rank within the international organizations. With effect from the date of entry into force of this Directive, all persons in the domestic service of international officials, regardless of the rank of the latter, shall henceforth be deemed to be “private servants”, as per article 1, letter (h), of the Convention, and are thus eligible to hold a DFAE type “F” legitimation card.

    1.4. Parties

    For the purposes of this Directive, the term “parties” means the employer and the private servant.

  2. Persons entitled to hire private servants

    Under the terms of this Directive, the only persons entitled to hire private servants under the legitimation card scheme are persons residing in Switzerland as follows:

    — Members of the senior management team (legitimation card, type “B”);

    — High-ranking officials (legitimation card, type “C”);

    — Professional category officials (legitimation card, type “D”). Officials of the general services category and those international civil servants who are Swiss nationals do not have the right to hire a private servant under the DFAE legitimation card scheme.

  3. Conditions of entry and residence for private servants

    3.1. General principles

    Subject to the exceptions set out below (paragraph 3.2 of this Directive), the private servant must meet all the following conditions:

    — Be aged 18 or over;

    — Not be a member of the employer’s family or of the family of another member of the organization;

    — Hold a valid national passport;

    — Not be a refugee or a person recognized as stateless by a foreign State;

    — Be single, widowed or divorced;

    — Enter Switzerland unaccompanied;

    — Work full-time for a single employer;

    — Be part of the employer’s household;

    — Have been made aware that his or her residence in Switzerland is authorized only for as long as he or she is in the service of a member of a mission or an international civil servant entitled to hire a private servant.

    3.2. Exceptions

    3.21. Working for two employers at the same time

    A private servant hired in accordance with the terms of paragraph 3.1 may, in exceptional circumstances, be authorized to work for two employers. The employers

    must both be authorized to hire a private servant eligible under the DFAE legitimation card scheme. The first of the two employers to hire the servant shall, in the eyes of the Swiss authorities, be deemed to be the principal employer and shall be liable for all the obligations and responsibilities arising from the hiring. However, the second employer must pay his contribution of social and welfare charges pro rata.

    3.22. Separate household

    Where, in exceptional cases, the employer is not in a position to provide the private servant with board and lodging in accordance with terms of paragraph 6.5 of this Directive below, he must pay for the servant to live in outside accommodation in Switzerland.

    3.23. Married couple, with or without children

    In exceptional and justified cases, a married couple with or without children may be allowed to accompany their employer to Switzerland, provided that they were both in the service of that same employer prior to his posting to Switzerland.

    The length of stay of the couple shall be limited strictly to the length of stay of the employer whom they have accompanied, and it is not possible for them to change employer.

    Married couples with children must ensure that their children are cared for outside Switzerland throughout the whole of their stay in Switzerland.

    3.3. Length of employment

    The contract of employment is for an indefinite or fixed period of time. The contract takes effect from the arrival of the private servant in Switzerland or, if he or she is already in Switzerland under another authorization (change of employer), as soon as he or she is hired.

    The employment contract may be terminated in accordance with paragraph 6.9 of this Directive.

    3.4. Change of employer

    A private servant may change employer at any time provided that, within a maximum of one month from the date of termination of current employment, he or she finds work with another employer authorized to hire a private servant under the DFAE legitimation card scheme, failing which the private servant must leave Switzerland.

  4. Hiring a private servant abroad: conditions and procedure

    4.1. Foreigners subject to visa requirements

    4.11. Necessary documents

    The following documents are required to start the process:

    — The employer must sign the declaration of guarantee in 3 originals;

    — The private servant must sign his or her private servant’s declaration also in 3 originals.

    4.12. Procedure

    The employer’s organization forwards the three duly signed copies of the employer’s declaration of guarantee and the three duly signed copies of the servant’s

    declaration to the Swiss Mission, together with a copy of the private servant’s passport. The Swiss Mission will stamp these documents and return two copies of the employer’s declaration of guarantee and two copies of the servant’s declaration to the employer’s organization. One copy of each document is intended for the employer, and the other for the private servant.

    4.13. Issuing the visa

    The private servant must go in person to the Swiss Representation in his or her place of residence to obtain a visa, and produce the following documents:

    — His or her original copy of the employer’s declaration of guarantee, signed by the employer and stamped by the Swiss Mission;

    — His or her original copy of the servant’s declaration, signed by him- or herself and stamped by the Swiss Mission;

    — His or her national passport valid for a minimum of six months after the date of his or her entry into Switzerland.

    4.2. Foreigners not subject to visa requirements

    4.21. Necessary documents

    The following documents are required to start the process:

    — The employer must sign the declaration of guarantee in 3 originals;

    — The private servant must sign his or her private servant’s declaration also in 3 originals.

    4.22. Procedure

    The employer’s organization will forward the three duly signed copies of the employer’s declaration of guarantee and the three duly signed copies of the private servant’s declaration to the Swiss Mission for stamping, together with a covering note and a copy of the private servant’s passport. The Swiss Mission will return two original copies of the declaration of guarantee and two original copies of the servant’s declaration to the employer’s organization, together with a covering letter confirming that the private servant will be issued a...

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