Employment in Switzerland

With a stable economy, Swiss unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the world, standing at 3.7 percent in January 2017, with average unemployment typically lower in German-speaking Switzerland (3.1 percent) than in French and Italian-speaking Swiss cantons (5 percent).

In short, in Switzerland, salaries are amongst the highest in the world, the holiday per year is four weeks long, the social security benefits are excellent and the quality of life is among the highest in the world. However, the labor market is small; competition for jobs is high and for those outside EU only a limited number of jobs are available.

The employment Law governs the employment field in Switzerland for residents and for foreign nationals. Any foreign individual is allowed to work in Switzerland only after signing the Swiss individual contract of employment. In comparison to the laws of most European countries, the Swiss employment law can be considered quite liberal, especially regarding the termination of employment contracts.

Types of employment contracts

One of the most common types of contracts signed in Switzerland is the individual contract of employment.  A normal contract of employment in Switzerland provides fixed terms and conditions regarding the conclusion, the content and the notice of termination.

 Other types of contract used in Switzerland are CLAS, also known as collective labor contracts. These types of contracts represent an agreement between the management on behalf of the company and the trade unions on behalf of the company employees. Collective labor contracts regulate the terms and conditions of employees in the workplace, as well as their duties and the duties of the employer.

Key points of employment in Switzerland

1. The probation period in Switzerland is 1 month. If agreed by collective or individual contract, a longer period can be considered, but should not exceed 3 months.
2. The notice period in Switzerland is seven days’ notice for the probation period, one month notice for the first year of employment, two months’ notice starting with the second to the ninth year of employment and three months’ notice starting with the ninth year of employment.
3. The Swiss employment law does not employers to terminate employment relationships during the periods which the employee is prevented from performing work, be it fully or partially by no fault of their own. This includes the periods of time during pregnancy and during the 16 weeks following the lying-in of an employee, if the respective employee is required to participate at a foreign aid service assignment abroad by the competent federal authority or during the compulsory performance of Swiss military service.
4. The amount of annual leave provided under the Swiss law is four weeks for employees and apprentices that are over 20 years old and five weeks for employees and apprentices that are up to 20 years old. Employees are entitled to maternity leave for up to 14 weeks (98 days).  Mothers receive daily allowances that sum up to 80% of their wages. However, the allowance can’t be more than CHF 196 per day. Employees are generally entitled to paid sick leave. The days allowed depend on the years of service and on the cantonal law.
5. Employees have also a duty of fidelity in Switzerland. The duty of fidelity refers to the duty of the employees to uphold the justified interests of the employers to the extent of due fidelity. This duty is also known as duty to desist.

If you want to work or hire people for your business in Switzerland you can contact our consultants familiarized with the Employment law, in order for you to receive the best employment advices.

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