Switzerland

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Switzerland. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

Per the labor law of Switzerland, the statutory notice periods are:

  • 7 days during probation
  • 30 days in case of mass redundancy
  • 1 month in the first year of service
  • 2 months from the second through the ninth year
  • 3 months from the tenth year of service

The parties may agree on a different notice period. Such an agreement must be in writing, and the agreed notice period must not be less than 1 month.

Fixed-term employment contracts are terminated without a notice period. However, fixed-term agreements concluded for more than 10 years require 6 months' notice.

Work Permits

Work Permit

Paid Annual Leave

Under the Swiss Code of Obligations, the right to maternity leave applies to full-time, part-time employees, and self-employed persons if they were insured under the OASI/AHV scheme for 9 months prior to childbirth, and have worked for at least 5 months during their pregnancy.. The minimum length of maternity leave is 14 weeks, starting from the delivery date. Employees who return to work before the end of the maternity leave lose their entitlement to compensation. Women are not allowed to work for 8 weeks after giving birth. Employees can extend their maternity leave by another 2 weeks without pay. 

The employer is prohibited from terminating the employee's labor contract during her maternity leave and 16 weeks after childbirth. Discrimination based on pregnancy is not permitted at all stages of employment relationships, including hiring.

Working Hours

Under the Federal Labour Act of Switzerland, the maximum for weekly working hours is 45 for industrial workers, office, technical, and other employees, including salespersons in large retail stores. For all other commercial enterprises, the legal maximum working hours are 50 per week. Regular weekly working hours are determined by employment or collective bargaining agreements.

Nighttime work cannot exceed 9 hours per shift; however, if the employee works only for a maximum of 3 out of 7 consecutive nights, the working time may be increased to 10 hours per shift.

Permanent or regular evening, night, and Sunday work must be considered indispensable for either technical or economic reasons. Time off equal to 10% of the hours of night work performed must be provided for night work carried out on 25 or more nights per calendar year. 

Maternity Leave

Under the Swiss Code of Obligations, the right to maternity leave applies to full-time, part-time employees, and self-employed persons if they were insured under the OASI/AHV scheme for 9 months prior to childbirth, and have worked for at least 5 months during their pregnancy.. The minimum length of maternity leave is 14 weeks, starting from the delivery date. Employees who return to work before the end of the maternity leave lose their entitlement to compensation. Women are not allowed to work for 8 weeks after giving birth. Employees can extend their maternity leave by another 2 weeks without pay. 

The employer is prohibited from terminating the employee's labor contract during her maternity leave and 16 weeks after childbirth. Discrimination based on pregnancy is not permitted at all stages of employment relationships, including hiring.

Minimum Wage

Swiss law does not specify minimum wage or average earnings. In most cases, salary levels are agreed upon between the employer and the employee during the recruitment process.

The following cantons in Switzerland have set minimum wages:

  • Neuchâtel - CHF 21.09 (Swiss francs) per hour
  • Jura - CHF 20.60 per hour 
  • Ticino - CHF 19-19.50 per hour
  • Geneva - CHF 24 per hour
  • Basel-Stadt - CHF 21 per hour
  • Zurich (city) - CHF 23.90 per hour
  • Winterthur (city) - CHF 23 per hour 

The frequency of payment can be determined by an individual employment contracts. Unless otherwise provided by agreement or custom, the salary must be paid to the employee in legal tender during working hours; a written salary statement must be provided to the employee.  

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Switzerland.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Switzerland.