Swiss Post still has a monopoly on the carriage of letters weighing up to 50 grammes. It is therefore still difficult to encourage competition in the letters market. In the fully liberalised parcels market, however, a system of competition has arisen. PostCom ensures that competition is fair and that industry-standard labour conditions are met.
Licensing system replaced by duty to register
New legislation on postal services came into force on 1 October 2012, replacing the licensing system with one in which all providers of postal services, including Swiss Post, are required to register with PostCom. Any company offering commercial postal services to customers in its own name must register. The providers deliver addressed parcels weighing up to 30kg, addressed letters up to 2kg and newspapers and magazines. The amount of annual revenue from postal services determines whether providers are subject to the ordinary duty to register (due to an annual turnover in excess of CHF 500,000 for commercial postal services) or the simple duty to Register (less than CHF 500,000).
Industry-standard working conditions
Under the previous licence system, PostReg ensured that the industry-standard working conditions were met, and this continues to be the case under PostCom. The main criteria such as regular weekly working hours, minimum wage (annual salary or hourly wage) and the right to a minimum number of weeks’ holiday have not changed. Under the new Postal Services Act, providers subject to the duty to register must show that they are in negotiation regarding a collective employment agreement with recognised and representative labour unions. They must provide evidence of this within six months following the start of the duty to register. In setting this requirement, Switzerland is undoubtedly ahead of other countries on this important issue, as the success of this system over several years has also shown.
The annual reports provide detailed information on these matters.