Answer ... There is no national minimum wage. However, collective labour agreements and standard employment contracts may provide for minimum wages that apply in the respective branches and sectors of the industry.
Answer ... As a rule, employers must compensate overtime with a supplemental pay of at least 25%. By mutual agreement, overtime may be compensated by time off in lieu, which must be of (at least) equal duration.
There are two categories of overtime under Swiss law:
- Overhours: If the number of hours worked exceeds the contractually agreed working time, those working hours exceeding the contractually agreed working hours are considered overhours.
- Overtime: If the number of hours worked exceeds the maximum working time allowed under the Federal Work Act, the number of working hours exceeding such maximum working time is considered overtime. As a rule, the maximum weekly working hours are 45 or 50 hours, depending on the category of worker.
For overhours only, the parties may agree in writing that they will be included in the normal salary, and that there will be no extra compensation or time off in lieu.
An employee is exempt from performing overtime work to the extent that he or she may not reasonably be expected to do so. For example, if the employee’s physical condition prevents the performance of overtime work, the employee is exempted from his or her obligations.
Answer ... The minimum entitlement of paid vacation is four weeks (20 working days) and five weeks’ vacation (25 working days) for employees under 20 years. Further, Switzerland has several paid public holidays (eg, 1 August).
Answer ... The most important rules regarding sick leave are as follows:
- If the employee is prevented from working by illness or accident and the legal requirements are met, the employer is obliged to continue salary payments for a limited time. Under Article 324(a) of the Code of Obligations, employers must pay three weeks’ salary during the first year of employment; this payment increases based on the employee’s length of service (SR 220). Swiss courts use scales to determine the appropriate period of continued salary payments (eg, scales of Basel, Bern and Zurich). Many employers take out insurance which provides coverage against loss of salary in the event of medical leave.
- Under certain circumstances, employees may request time off to care for sick children (Article 36(3) of the Federal Work Act; SR 822.11).
Article 336(c) of the Code of Obligations prohibits employers from giving termination notices to employees who are prevented from working by illness or accident for up to:
- 30 days in the first year of service;
- 90 days in the second to fifth years of service; and
- 180 days in the sixth and subsequent years of service.
Answer ... In Switzerland, the statutory retirement age is 65 for men and 64 for women. Employees may opt for early retirement pursuant to the applicable pension benefits plan or choose to postpone retirement.