No sympathy for workers at Sympany health insurance

Headquarter of Sympany health insurance in Basel
Health insurer Sympany is planning to make a clean sweep. (Photo: media service)

Basel-based health insurer Sympany must lay off dozens of employees. But the planned measures are unlikely to solve the cost problem.  

Basel-based health insurer Sympany is planning mass layoffs.

There are 74 layoffs planned, a media spokeswoman confirmed to on Wednesday. That’s around 12 percent of their workforce.

The 74 layoffs, for economic reasons, are divided into 63 actual layoffs and 11 change notices. 

Still work to finish

According to the 2022 annual report, the small Basel-based health insurer employed 656 people in 593 full-time positions. According to the report, around 11 to 12 percent of jobs will be lost in the future.  

The job cuts are to be implemented by the end of 2024, the media spokeswoman added. The relatively long timeframe has to do with the fact that certain projects, such as digitization, are yet to be completed. 

CEO left over summer  

A reason given for the savings program, the health insurer, which has a cost problem anyway, says that the balance between growth and profitability needs to be restored.  

As reported, the old CEO Michael Willer had surprisingly thrown in the towel over the summer. Under his leadership, jobs and thus costs had again exploded sharply.  

Around 200 jobs were created within a very short time.

Things will disappear

The Board of Directors has now decided to adjust the strategy and the organizational structure will be adapted accordingly.  

In addition to the job cuts, there are other measures, according to internal documents available to  

It is a waiver plan, confirmed the health insurance company, because certain things will no longer exist in the future.  

Brand identity renewal 

Those responsible at the health insurer have apparently also realized that both service and administrative costs are far too high compared with the competition.  

Last year, a new brand identity was even launched and duly celebrated in Zurich, leaving many observers wondering how Sympany was still throwing money out the window.  

Formal procedure 

So, what is the next step in this downsizing process? Employees and the Personnel Commission have until October 19 to submit their proposals on how layoffs could be avoided. The company will then examine the proposals and make its decision.  

In Switzerland, however, there are usually no, or only marginal, adjustments and the companies stick to their plans for job cuts.

The Sympany media spokeswoman stressed, however, that the figure of 74 had been chosen because in a consultation process the figures could be changed downwards but not upwards.  

In any case, she said, the company hopes to get by with fewer layoffs. Sympany described itself as a ‘social employer’.  

Further cost-cutting efforts  

In view of the loss of 61.5 million Swiss francs in 2022, the increase of around 200 jobs and the integration of two companies – that the Sympany Group still has to accomplish in the beginning of 2024 – one may well doubt the scope of the savings program.  

The planned cost measures are unlikely to be sufficient to achieve a real balance between growth and profitability at the comparatively small Sympany.  


No sympathy for workers at Sympany health insurance

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