CORONA measures for musicians and orchestras

CORONA measures for musicians and orchestras

Here you will find EVERYTHING to apply for the different compensation (for musicians and orchestras). The “boxes” are linked to the appropriate forms or application forms. At the end of the page you will find various “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) as well as links/downloads and further information.

For musicians

Corona compensation (EO)

For musicians

Supplementary measures

For companies (including cultural enterprises)

Compensation for short-time work

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Companies (including cultural enterprises)

Other general measures

Liquidity assistance (For profit-oriented cultural enterprises)With a uniform company identification number (UID) you can apply for a bridging loan from your bank as liquidity assistance. The federal government guarantees the loan. You can find information and forms here:

Deferral payment of social security contributions, liquidity buffer in the tax area, legal standstill over debt collection and bankruptcy:


Complementary measures for the cultural sector

Amateur Cultural associations

Schweizer Blasmusikverband SBV If the main activity of the association is instrumental music)
Andy Kollegger, +41 79 408 15 55

Schweizerische Chorvereinigung SCV  If the main activity is singing and yodelling (incl. traditional costume choirs):
Bruno Jakob, +41 76 429 20 38

Zentralverband Schweizer Volkstheater ZSV  (If the main activity is theater, dance or costume groups)
Eva Rölli, +41 52 347 20 90

What we recommend

Ergänzende Massnahmen sind wie schon die Name sagt, ergänzend, und nicht jeder wird Anspruch darauf haben.

Complementary measures are, as the name suggests, complementary, and not everyone will be entitled to them.

However, as a self-employed musician you should definitely apply for the Corona Employment Compensation (EO) for the engagements you would have played as a self-employed musician.

Orchestras/organizers should definitely apply for short-time work compensation for conductors or musicians if projects are cancelled or postponed. This also applies if the musicians are employed on an hourly and/or temporary basis. For the orchestra/organizer, the financial consequences can be overlooked, but for the musicians/conductors it makes a big difference.

FAQ musicians – Corona income compensation

Requirements? You must be registered as a self-employed person. Even if you have not registered until 2020, you are still entitled to (read here)!

When does the claim start and end? The measure began on March 17 and will last until the corona measures are lifted.

How much is the compensation? Max. 196 CHF/day.

When is the compensation paid out? The date of payment depends on when the application was submitted. The compensation is generally paid at the end of the month. For applications submitted in March, the compensation will be paid as soon as possible in April (1).

Can someone receive compensation at the same time as a self-employed person and as an employee? Yes, this is possible. This person can receive compensation for short-time work for (part-time) employment and, as a self-employed person, compensation for loss of income due to the closure of a business.(2)

Also for cross-border commuters? The same rights and eligibility requirements apply to cross-border commuters working in Switzerland. However, if they are prevented from working for other reasons, such as border closure, they are not entitled to the compensation in question.(3)

FAQ musicians – general

Self-employed? Full-time? Self-employed is anyone who earns income that does not constitute remuneration for work performed as an employee and is registered with the compensation fund as self-employed. It is not necessary for the cultural worker to be exclusively self-employed. The Covid Regulation on Culture also covers cultural workers who are engaged in a combination of self-employed (“freelance”) and employed activities. The only persons not covered are cultural workers who have an employee status only.

Persons who finance at least half of their livelihood with their cultural activities or devote at least half of their normal working hours to cultural activities are considered to be full-time employees in the cultural sector. All paid employment in the cultural sector is taken into account. Both as self-employed persons and as employees. The existence of a full-time occupation is to be assessed in each individual case on the basis of the documents to be provided by the person engaged in cultural activities (e.g. tax statements, list of engagements, exhibitions, etc.). In the case of cultural workers who have received immediate assistance from Suisseculture Sociale, the requirement for full-time employment does not necessarily have to be reassessed. (4)

FAQ – Company – Short-time work compensation

The ALV secures wages with the short-time work compensation

When is the compensation paid out? Companies that have applied for short-time work must pay 80% of the loss of earnings to their employees (e.g. musicians or conductors) as wages in a regular and timely manner. (5)

What does this mean financially for my orchestra? Companies have to pay full social security contributions on the 100% salary; employer’s contributions are reimbursed via KAE for the lost time. (5)For example, a project with 3 rehearsals and 2 concerts. The orchestras would have paid the musician a fee of 1000 CHF* (less social security). The project was cancelled due to Corona and the orchestra would only have to pay about 63 CHF “out of their own pocket”. The musicians would receive about 750 CHF (plus full social security benefits).

Are hourly paid employees entitled to KAE? Yes, as long as all requirements are met. Employees on hourly wages are entitled to the same conditions as employees on monthly wages. This means that they are only entitled to compensation for reduced working hours if they have a contractually agreed working time. (6)

Are persons in temporary employment and temporary workers entitled to KAE? Yes, the Federal Council has extended the entitlement to short-time work compensation to persons in fixed-term employment, apprenticeships or in the service of an organization for temporary work. (7)

FAQ – Companies loss compensation

Who can request this? Profit-making and non-profit-making enterprises to which the complementary measures for the cultural sector apply (see Covid-19: Anwendbarkeit der wirtschaftlichen Massnahmen für den Kultursektor).


Overview of the measures

Overview of measures for the self-employed

Leaflet on Corona compensation

Overview of the measures for the companies

Information sheet Information for employers and self-employed persons in connection with the coronavirus

Leaflet Simplified Processes KAE COVID-19: Pre-Registration and Application/Billing

Ordinance on measures in case of loss of earnings in connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19 (COVID-19 Ordinance on loss of earnings)

Ordinance on the mitigation of the economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the cultural sector (COVID Ordinance Culture)

Explanation of the Regulation on the mitigation of the economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the cultural sector – COVID Regulation Culture      

Guidelines to the Ordinance on the mitigation of the economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the cultural sector – COVID Ordinance Culture

Award Regulations Corona Emergency Aid Suisseculture Sociale

General principles for the targeting of financial aid Cultural associations in the lay sector under Article 10 of the Regulation on the mitigation of the economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the cultural sector (COVID Regulation Culture)


Cantonal contact points

Emergency aid at Suisseculture Sociale


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* Why 1000 CHF? For 3 rehearsals and 2 concerts, according to the SMV, a basic rate of 931.- CHF + 77.55 CHF compulsory vacation compensation is payable, which corresponds to a gross salary of 1008.55 CHF or a net salary of 945.77 CHF. The employer’s social security contribution amounts to approximately CHF 62.78 (varies from canton to canton but is at least 6.255%). So total wage costs are 1071.33 CHF.We would like to keep the accounting in our example simple and therefore take a fee of 1000.- CHF.

We assume no liability for the correctness of the contents listed here. Although the information is checked for accuracy and timeliness, to the extent permitted by law we disclaim all liability for any undesirable consequences arising from the use of this information.

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