Employment Agreements Switzerland: If you’re thinking about doing business in Switzerland or need an employment agreement for your existing company, it is important to have a basic understanding of Swiss employment law.
These are the most important of the laws that govern employment relationships in Switzerland:
- the Swiss Code of Obligations;
- Federal Act on Worker’s Participation;
- Federal Work Act;
- Ordinance against Excessive Compensations with listed Companies;
- Federal Act on Gender Equality;
- Act on Deployment;
- Federal Act on Placement Agencies and Staffing Leasing Services.
The laws may be amended by the Swiss parliament on an irregular basis, making it favorable to work with a Swiss service provider experienced in employment law to ensure that you are operating within the spirit of Swiss law.
Employment Agreements Switzerland – The Basics
Swiss employment agreements require that the employer and employee agree on the nature of the work, the hours and the pay rate. They do not have to be set down in writing unless it’s an apprenticeship or it differs from the basic rules set forth in the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO). However, usually an employment agreement is signed between the employer and the employee. The CO rules allow for employment contracts that are both fixed and open-ended, and consider the first month for the latter to be a trial period, terminable by either party with seven days notice.
Swiss Laws Governing Hours and Wages
Swiss law sets the maximum amount of work for a week at 45 hours for office, technical and sales staff. Up to 50 hours a week are allowable for drivers, medical workers, hospitality, construction and civil engineering. Employees are expected to work between 40 and 42 hours a week (industry standards), which shall carried out between 6am and 8pm, otherwise special compensations might apply. National law requires that workers under twenty are given a minimum of 5 weeks vacation time a year, and all others a minimum of four weeks. Most larger companies offer 5 weeks of vacation. The employee’s salary must be paid in full during their vacation which must include at least two consecutive weeks. Employees must seek approval for their desired dates for their employers. Vacation is mandatory and cannot be replaced by a monetary award, no matter how large.
Special form of employment agreements: Collective Bargaining Agreements
Some sectors are governed by collective bargaining agreements that provide greater protection for wages and hours than the law. There are less than fifty sectors with mandatory agreements, but about 1’500 which are non-mandatory, however, are normally agreed to. For sectors with non-mandatory agreements, only some employers and employees in the sector are members.
Swiss Corporate Lawyer Specializing in Employment
In addition to Swiss laws and collective bargaining agreements, there are many customs that control expectations between employers and employees. Businesses are most successful when there is a true meeting of the minds between the parties. That’s why it’s important to work with a Swiss partner who understands the habits and customs to help you establish a legally sound and successful business relationship.
Employment agreements Switzerland: Set up the right contract for your case
We recommend to use custom made employment agreement that fits to your company and your employee. Talk to us for creating an appropriate work contract for your staff.