The Swiss cabinet has clarified that women wearing burkas or niqabs can be denied social aid or unemployment insurance, as face coverings can result in identification issues or limit possibilities for finding a job.

On Thursday, the cabinet responded to a parliamentary question on the subject, and clarified when face coverings could affect recipients of state financial assistance. According to them, the burka or niqab could pose a problem when it came to identifying beneficiaries of social welfare payments. The religious garments could also create difficulties if a medical examination is required to determine if a person qualifies for support. In these cases, the government ruled that the women concerned could be denied state assistance for refusing to cooperate. In addition, women who limit their employment opportunities on account of their religious beliefs or insistence on covering their faces could also be denied unemployment insurance.

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