Switzerland is a country located in Central Europe, known for its beautiful lakes, villages, and the high peaks of the Alps. Banking and finance are Switzerland’s key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolates are also key features that make this country recognizable. The total area of the country is 41,285 square kilometers distributed across 26 cantons, making it the 135th largest country in the world. The country borders Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. The city of Zurich is the largest in the country with about 1,000,000 inhabitants. Switzerland’s administrative capital is Bern, while Lausanne serves as its judicial center.

 

*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Switzerland.

Capital :
Bern (de facto capital)
Currency :
Swiss Franc (CHF)
Languages spoken :
French, German, Italian, and Romansh. English is widely spoken.
Population :
8.697 million (2021 est.)
Minimum wage 2022 :
Regulated through CBAs
Cost of Living index :
$$$$ (2 of 139 nations)
Payroll Frequency :
Monthly
VAT - standard rate :
7.7%
GDP - real growth rate :
3.7% (2021 est.)

Statutory Holidays

The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2022.

Date
Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Day
April 15
Good Friday
Movable
April 18
Easter Monday
Movable
May 26
Ascension Day
Movable
June 6
Whit Monday
Movable
June 16
Corpus Christi
Movable
August 1
Swiss National Day
November 1
All Saints' Day
December 25
Christmas Day
December 26
St. Stephen’s Day

Contract Sharing Time


The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in Switzerland is 4 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.

NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.

What You Need To Know


  • Switzerland operates a ‘labor leasing license’ setup, meaning that the ‘temporary/third party employer’ must hold the necessary labor license. The license dictates that the employer must hold a direct contract with the end-user customer, the company that is controlling and managing the worker. 
  • Non-Swiss recruitment agencies cannot legally recruit for a Swiss client without holding a labor leasing license. This is regardless of the worker’s nationality. There are two types of labor leasing licenses:
    • Cantonal, for use in specific Swiss cantons,
    • Federal, for use across the whole of Switzerland.

Labor Conditions


Working Hours

Under Swiss law, the maximum weekly working hours for industrial workers, office staff, technicians, and other employees are set at 45 hours. The limit for all other workers is 50 hours per week. Most employees work between 40 and 42 working hours per week. 

An employee is entitled to breaks of the following minimum duration:

  • 15 minutes with a daily working time of more than 5.5 hours;
  • 30 minutes with a daily working time of more than seven hours;
  • One hour with a daily working time of more than nine hours.

 

Overtime

Extra hours accrue when working hours exceed the statutory maximum number of working hours per week (45 to 50 hours depending on the sector). Extra hours:

  • May not exceed two hours per day.
  • May not exceed 170 hours per calendar year (based on a 45-hour week) or 140 hours (based on a 50-hour week).
  • Must be compensated with a premium of at least 25% if they are not compensated with time off within a specified period.

For employees working in large retail undertakings, office staff, technical employees, and others, including the sales staff, the employer shall pay overtime wage only where overtime work exceeds 60 hours in a calendar year.

Probation Period

The probation period for open-ended contracts lasts one month, but the employer may offer a shorter or longer probation period (up to a maximum of three months). In this case, the employee and the employer must have a written agreement. 

 

Termination Notice Period

A seven-day period of notice before termination is served during probation.

After the end of the probationary period, an employment contract may be terminated with effect from the end of any month, subject to:

Employment durationNotice period
1st year of service             1 month
2nd to 9th year of service             2 months
More than 9 years of service             3 months

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

The statutory minimum annual leave is four weeks for employees and apprentices over the age of 20 and five weeks for employees up to the age of 20. This minimum may be increased by contractual agreement. Where an employee has not yet completed one year’s service, their holiday entitlement is fixed pro-rata. 

 

Sick Leave

Swiss law requires employers to continue to pay employees who are unable to work due to illness for up to three weeks in the first year of employment and for longer periods at full pay proportionate to longer periods of employment (up to 17 weeks). Cantons specify sick leave limits after an employee’s first year. Employers may require a medical certificate for any absence longer than three consecutive days due to sickness.

Parental Leave

Child care leave
  • Parents are entitled to 14 weeks of care leave to look after their underaged children whose health is seriously affected by an accident or illness. The carer’s leave must be taken within a period of 18 months. 

 

Leave to care for a child whose health is seriously impaired by illness or accident
  • Employers must grant employees up to three days of paid leave to care for a sick child on presentation of a medical certificate stating the same by the employee. 

 

Maternity Leave

All employees are entitled to maternity leave for 14 weeks after the birth of a child. A maternity allowance is given to employees who have contributed to the OASI for at least 9 months preceding the delivery and have worked for at least five months. 

They receive 80% of their pay in the form of a daily allowance, subject to a ceiling of 196 CHF per day (2021). 

 

Paternity Leave

Fathers engaged in gainful employment are entitled to two weeks of paternity leave during the six months following the birth of their child. Paternity leave benefits are equal to 80% of the employee’s average salary prior to the child’s birth but are also capped at a total of CHF196 per day. 

Other Types of Paid Leave

Leave to take care of a sick family member

An employee is entitled to paid leave by their employer for the time they spend caring for a family member or life partner with health problems; however, the leave is limited to no more than three days per event and no more than 10 days per year.

 

Special Leave

In the cases listed below, employees can take time off work without having to make up the hours/days that they are absent from work:

  • A court appearance or similar legal appointment
  • Public duties (working as a member of Parliament, local councilor, etc.)
  • Marriage
  • Birth of a child
  • Death of a close relative
  • Moving house
  • Care of a close relative.

Unpaid Leave

Leave to take care of a sick family member

An employee is entitled to paid leave by their employer for the time they spend caring for a family member or life partner with health problems; however, the leave is limited to no more than three days per event and no more than 10 days per year.

 

Special Leave

In the cases listed below, employees can take time off work without having to make up the hours/days that they are absent from work:

  • A court appearance or similar legal appointment
  • Public duties (working as a member of Parliament, local councilor, etc.)
  • Marriage
  • Birth of a child
  • Death of a close relative
  • Moving house
  • Care of a close relative.

 

Statutory Benefits

 

BenefitEmployer Contribution
OASI (Old Age and Survivor’s Insurance)

Disability insurance (DI) 

4.35%

0.70%

Unemployment Insurance 1.1%
Supplementary Unemployment Insurance0.5%
Family Compensation Fund1-3%
Occupational accident insurance0.17 to 13.5%

 

Health Insurance

There is no medical cover under the Swiss Social Security system. However, participation in health insurance is compulsory for all persons residing in Switzerland according to the Health Insurance Act (private cover).

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance

The mandatory Accident Insurance (Unfallversicherungsgesetz, UVG) contributes to the costs of medical treatment and gives financial support after an accident and occupational disease. All employees employed in Switzerland are covered.

Unemployment Insurance

Employees who are insured by the old-age, survivors, and invalidity insurance scheme can receive unemployment benefits. Those who are covered will receive 70% of their daily allowance. This can rise to 80% for individuals who have an obligation to care for children under the age of 25, who receive a daily allowance of less than 140 CHF, or who claim a DI pension due to a degree of disability of at least 40%. 

Employers contribute 1% to unemployment insurance. They also pay a solidarity contribution equal to 0.5% each on the total annual salary above 148,200 CHF.

Public Pension

In Switzerland, women receive Old Age and Survivor’s Insurance (OASI/AHV) state pension from the age of 64, and men from the age of 65. The employer and the employee contribute 4.35% each to the Old age, survivors’, and disability insurance.

Other Statutory Benefits

Family compensation fund

Child allowance is paid by the employer and varies from canton to canton. The majority of cantons pay a fixed allowance for each child, while some cantons pay an increased allowance for the third and subsequent children. For children up to 16 years (for children who are ill or children with disabilities who are unable to work, the age limit is 20 years), people in Switzerland receive a child allowance of at least 200 francs a month for each child. Children aged between 16 and 25 who are still studying or in vocational training are entitled to an education allowance of at least 250 a month for each child

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

Information provided in this Country Guide is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. WorkMotion Software GmbH periodically adds, changes, improves, updates, or removes information without notice, and assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents of this Country Guide. This Country Guide may contain links to other websites. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

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