To RAV or not to RAV...that is the question

I’ve been having a look around old threads (thanks to @Phil_MCR for bringing over so many) but haven’t found the answers to my questions.

If one quits the job but doesn’t plan on searching for something new immediately, is it still worthwhile to register for RAV? Is there any benefit or drawback to waiting?

The only thing I can think of is that the benefit is calculated based on recent (12 months?) earnings, so the longer you wait, the less those earnings will be should you decide you DO want to start job hunting.

The person is interested in starting a business, but according to this thread, RAV will not help if they quit (as opposed to getting fired). Really?? A person can do a crap job, get fired and RAV will help start a business, but quit and there’s no help? Seems strange to me. There has to be more to it.

Appreciate any advice about both RAV and the wisdom/insanity of trying to start a business. :slight_smile:

There are grey areas. I quit a job in a toxic environment quite a few years ago and managed to get unemployment benefit BUT had a long waiting period. I can’t remember now how long it was. 3 months maybe? Bit less? They took my circumstances into account but argued that I could have just looked for another job while I was there. I managed to find a new job after being with the RAV for approx 4 months.

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The RAV support basically is the standard daily allowances combined with a 90 day relief from the obligation to job hunt. There are several other government measures to support start ups.

On the business idea itself, I suggest you make a business plan and go to a bank to inquire about a loan. They will be quick to tell you where the main problems are with your plan, if any.

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IIRC, you have a 3 month penalty for voluntarily quitting vs being fired.

But I think normally, if you have your own business, you are self-employed and therefore not unemployed.

I guess the benefit is that you don’t have to deal with RAV and the downside is that you don’t receive any money from them either if you’re not registered - by the time you do, penalties and timing might mean there’s not as much support available.

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When I finally stopped working I went on RAV, but with no realistic expectation to work again. I was interested in some retraining and working with a startup on a particular project, but RAV were absolutely not prepared to let me do the only thing I would have been interested in, which was to work unpaid for them, using it as training, and developing a new target market for their software (i.e. developing the software, not marketing it).

Long story short - they were a PITA, often penalising me for not enough applications, but honestly there were not enough jobs in my too-specialised field and I ended up wasting tons of time applying, interviewing and following up on jobs that I had no desire to do at salaries that were laughable. Logistics didn’t make it any easier, mostly having to travel from our Alsace house to Stans for monthly catch-ups and to Luzern for German lessons, given we were officially resident in OW and I absolutely could not let them know I wasn’t physically there most of the time.

All in all, I regret it. Yes, I got some money out of them, but I didn’t really need it to live on, and ended up feeling that I’d wasted two years of my life.

In many sense RAV become your employer, and as such I’d have to say it was the worst job I ever had.


That’s a good point. How does the penalty work? Here’s my guess, using an example of someone giving notice now with a last day 31 October:

Assuming immediate registration with RAV, the “normal” 3-month penalty would mean that payments begin in February. If one waits to register until January, the penalty means payments only begin in April?

If you register with RAV they will require that you fill in paper that stated you applied 10-12 jobs per month during your notice period already, then they will check you follow that schedule each month. If you anyway plan to rely on your savings and chill a bit, i wouldn’t get involved with RAV, it is a lot of paper work and does feel like a real job just applying to tons of jobs. And concerning the penalty days i think all counters start from the day your insurance case is in power (normally first unemployment day, if registered later, then from registration day)

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Nothing keeps you from starting your business while employed. It takes time to build both the business, product, and the customer base.

By registering with RAV you set what’s called a Rahmenfrist, it lasts 24 months. The previous 24 months determine if you can draw from them, and how much. But you can postpone drawing from them for up to 24 months so the Rahmenfrist can actually end up to 48 months after your registering with RAV. The 3 months penalty might be deemed “served” by postponing, that’d be something to enquire about and getting confirmed. The regulations are fairly strict, your friend could enquire without consequences anytime.

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I think this sliding Rahmenfrist window has an impact on the amount you can receive. IIUC, you calculate an average salary for this period, so if you delay, then you have an increasing amount of time with zero salary which drags your average down. I should caveat that I’ve never used RAV so this is just going by the understanding I’ve gleaned from reading about it.

If I were in the same situation, I’d do all the applications RAV want to get the unemployment payments, but I would still work to try to get the business off the ground. With ChatGPT, it should be easier to handle applications etc… If not, I’d probably hire someone to help do all the donkey work for me and then I’d just have the in person visits to deal with.

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See §9a

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The RAV guidelines are very confusing. Last time I was in a similar situation, in the end I registered immediately like the general guidelines say so, but I went to talk with my GP to sign me off. RAV was happy not to deal with me since I was not drawing the unemployment indemnities because I weren’t fit for job searching, win-win

That’s my understanding from reading old EF posts back in the day. Never paid that close of attention though, so might have misunderstood. If one can register and “lock in” the rate until they need it, within the time allowed, that would be handy.

It’s possible to be unemployed & part time self employed, Your earnings from self employment could go from 0 to unlimited in any particular month. You need to supply info of earnings each month & your payout is recalculated.

RAV advisors will often give false info as they don’t understand the rules, so don’t be surprised if you get told it’s not possible

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