RAV Rules: Do I have to stay at CH and keep looking for work during penalty days?

Dear All,

I have recently registered with RAW. Since I quit the job myself, I will have 60 penalty days ( Jan - Feb 2024) without compensation.

I am wondering whether I have to stay in CH during the penalty days.

I must leave CH this month for a couple of weeks, does RAV allow that or Can I use my holidays in advance?

Thank you for your help!

Best wishes,


The basic requirement to qualify for claiming unemployment benefits is that you are genuinely seeking employment. If you are not resident and seeking work even during the penalty period you can expect further sanctions. You are already on their radar.

You’re supposed to still be looking for work even if you’re not getting RAV yet.

I believe you can ask RAV about holiday time.

If you submit the required paperwork at the right time and continue looking for work during the whole two months and document all your efforts they won’t know where you are unless they randomly call you in for a face to face interview at short notice.

Thanks for your reply.

I am actively looking for a job right now. trying about 10 job applications per month

I am just wondering what are the chances of calling me randomly?

If they call you, then you have to be available more or less immediately. You could do that quite well from a neighbouring country, but not, of course, from further afield.

The RAV advisor's job is to help you get off unemployment and back into the workforce as quickly as possible. As such, a part of their task is to identify anyone who looks like they're just trying to lean back into a free holiday, and to exert pressure on them (by raising the requirements and/or by deciding on penalty days).

Therefore, the decisions of RAV depend, to a very large degree, on the relationship the unemployed person builds up with their allocated RAV advisor. The more credibly you can demonstrate that you're putting in the time and making a significant effort for find work (besides sending out your minimum number of job applications, also a logbook of the networking you've tried, the time spent improving your skills in the fields in which you could work, your practice in and improvement of the local language, updated cv, newly collected references, etc.), the more you and your RAV advisor will be able to cooperate, and the more likely that the advisor will grant you the leniency you would need for a longer stay abroad.

The likelihood of them randomly calling you in for a face to face meeting during that two weeks is extremely low but the risk is there.

It’s up to you to decide whether it’s a risk you’re prepared to take.

There is also a small but real risk that they send you a letter saying come next week at this time. You RAV advisor is currently your boss and owner of your time so if you do decide to leave, get someone to check your mailbox.

I have no experience with RAV, but why not tell your advisor that you have a 2 week pre-book trip but you will be actively looking and applying online during that time? That way you've covered yourself and gotten confirmation on whether or not the the penalty days will be extended.

My wider experience of 15 years living here is that its a trust based system, but the moment you breach it you will become a target. I say that as a reformed dodgy Londoner.

With the RAV you have to earn the holidays before you can take them.

And yes people here tend to be more trusting than other places, however the OP is already on their radar with a 60 day penalty.

The standard rule is that one can be contacted on any business day and be given 1 days notice to report in person on the next day of business.

Many moons ago when I has the joy's of being on the RAV, i was in a similar position. I had a 2 week holiday booked, leaving 6 week after my RAV registration date, and iirc it was actually a question on the form?

My berater just asked to see the booking, as she wanted to check that it was booked pre my notice period from my employer. It was, she was happy for me to go, and not do any reporting, but I would not be paid the days as I had not accrrued any holiday, or, she said to cancel it and try to claim the money lost from my travel insurance.

So it is possible, but if you are just going to take a break whilst you are on your existing penalty day that was not pre booked, I think you may find they won't be happy and your penalty period extended.

Thanks a lot for the info!