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Switzerland: Employee rights

Updating author: Marco Toni


  • There are various rules for employees' hours of work, including overtime, and particular restrictions in relation to night working. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees are entitled to minimum statutory rest breaks and periods. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • Working on Sundays is generally prohibited and requires authorisation from the public authorities. (See Sunday work)
  • All employees are entitled to a minimum of four weeks' paid annual leave during every year of service with their employer. (See Holiday and holiday pay)
  • Pregnant employees and new mothers have various rights, including protection from dismissal. (See Maternity and pregnancy rights)
  • Employees have no statutory entitlement to parental, paternity or adoption leave (though a few cantons do provide some rights to adoption leave). (See Parental, paternity and adoption leave)
  • Employees are entitled to take the necessary time off to care for a close relative who is sick, up to a maximum of three days per occasion. (See Carer's leave)
  • Employers are obliged by statute to provide employees with the "customary" leave, which means short periods of paid leave for family reasons, or events such as moving house. (See Other leave)
  • Part-time employees have the same rights as other employees, for example to paid annual leave. (See Part-time workers)
  • Statute provides that employment contracts can be determined for a fixed term. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Temporary agency work is permitted and agencies must obtain authorisation to operate from the public authorities. (See Temporary agency workers)
  • During their posting in Switzerland, posted workers must be guaranteed at least the minimum employment conditions set out in Swiss legislation and in collective agreements that have been declared "generally binding" by the public authorities in certain areas. (See Posted workers)
  • If an employer transfers a business or part of it to a new employer, the employment relationships of the employees concerned, and all attendant rights and obligations, are transferred to the new employer, unless an employee refuses the transfer. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • There are rules regarding payments for employees in the event of their employer's insolvency. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • Disciplinary procedures are not generally regulated by statute, except in the public sector. (See Disciplinary procedures)
  • There are various rules regarding the processing of employees' personal data. (See Data protection)