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Switzerland: Labour Regulation

Regulatory Environment

By comparison with the EU, Switzerland regulates comparatively few aspects of the employer/employee relationship, and labour law in general is more favourable towards the employer than is the case in the EU, although some influence is being felt from the EU acquis through the 'Bilateral Agreements' which have been signed between Switzerland and the EU.

A written contract of employment is not required except in certain special cases. For most workers, the maximum work-week is 45 hours, although overtime is permitted. The limit on hours does not apply to managers. Four weeks' vacation is the minimum, and cannot be 'bought out'.

Maternity leave is available, and return to work is only permitted after a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks. Compensation is payable if pregnancy results in termination of employment.

Non-competition agreements between employers and employees are permitted, up to three years, and with safeguards for the employee.

Sickness is not a reasonable cause of termination, on a sliding scale which permits up to 180 days of sickness after six years of employment.

An employer may terminate an employer 'with cause'. The legislation is not specific, and in the event of a dispute, a judge in court (not a tribunal) will decide. There are some rules about compensation for termination, but they are not onerous.

 

 

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