Digital regulation: EU speeds up, Switzerland falls asleep

The digital transition and its potential regulation are in the news almost daily. Each parliamentary session sees the emergence of dozens of digital proposals and bills. At the same time, the EU imposes strict regulations in the field of tech.

European legislation has a long arm

The Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act introduce two digital regulators, while the Artificial Intelligence Act introduces a new legal framework for artificial intelligence. All these regulatory measures will directly affect Switzerland, since the digital transition knows no national borders. To make matters worse, the Swiss government does not take a position on this subject and the industry lacks interlocutors in Bern. Nevertheless, positive spillovers in an area that concerns us all could arise: the field of work.

The flexibilization of work

Attractive working conditions are essential for the dynamic ICT industry, which suffers from a chronic shortage of skilled workers. Labor law as we know it no longer does justice to the reality of today’s working world, which requires a real work-life balance where employees can truly reconcile work and family. The federal administration has understood this and has ensured adequate flexibility for itself, giving it an unfair advantage in the competitive market for ICT experts, while refusing to establish the same working conditions for the private market. . Fortunately, the Commission for Economics and Royalties has recently tried to make employment law more flexible again, at least in terms of entering time.

In concrete terms, this means that employees should enjoy more freedom in organizing their working day. Subject to their agreement, employees could thus freely schedule their breaks and rest periods, but also work in the evening or on a rainy Sunday if this corresponds more to their way of life. Proof of this: the recently published Digital Barometer* showed that 62% of respondents want flexible working conditions to reconcile private and professional life.

A small step, a big impact

In the summer of 2022, the Council of States, six years after having submitted a corresponding proposal (!), will decide on this very modest relaxation according to the motto: one small step for Parliament, one giant leap for staff. Other measures will have to follow because the shortage of skilled workers in the ICT industry is not a one-time problem, but a fundamental problem. As the digital transition progresses, the war for talent intensifies. To use our title: the EU has taken digital issues head-on, it has moved up a gear overnight. If Switzerland wants to be able to follow, it must pass the second, and quickly!

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Digital regulation: EU speeds up, Switzerland falls asleep

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