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Switzerland: Employee rights

Updating author: Thomas Kälin, MLL Legal Ltd (MLL)

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  • 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 a statutory entitlement to paternity leave. (See Paternity leave)
  • Employees have a statutory right to adoption leave. (See Parental and adoption leave)
  • Employees have no statutory entitlement to parental leave. (See Parental and adoption leave)
  • Employees are entitled to take paid leave to care for a member of their family whose health is impaired. (See Carer's leave)
  • Employers are obliged by statute to provide employees with paid leave where they are prevented from working for reasons beyond their control. (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)