Dismissal of Swiss Employees

Dismissal of Swiss Employees

Updated on Friday 14th August 2015

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Dismissal-of-Swiss-EmployeesLabor legislation in Switzerland

Unlike other European countries where termination of employment is subject to strict regulations, the Swiss Employment Law is rather relaxed when it comes to the dismissal of employees. At the moment the main legal frameworks regulating termination of employment in Switzerland are:

  • - the Swiss Civil Law,
  • - the Statute on the Information and Consultation of Employees,
  • - the Federal Labor Statute,
  •  - the Federal Act on Equal Treatment of Women and Men.

Each statute contains specific provisions about the treatment of workers by Swiss employers. Termination of employment in Switzerland may be ordinary or extraordinary.

Ordinary dismissal of Swiss employees

Swiss employment contracts may be terminated by mutual consent, upon the expiration of a fixed term contract or by dismissal. The most employed type of dismissal in Switzerland is the ordinary termination of work relations. As a general rule, a permanent employment contract may be terminated by a Swiss company provided that a notice period has been given to the employee. Statutory notice periods in Switzerland vary from one to three months, depending on the time spent by the worker in the company. When the notice of termination is given by the Swiss company, the dismissal must be justified in writing.

Extraordinary dismissal of employees in Switzerland

Extraordinary dismissal will occur without any previous notice and disregarding the type of employment contract concluded with the Swiss company. The Employment Law establishes that extraordinary dismissal may happen in case the employer has committed a serious criminal act against the employer. In this case, the employment relations must be terminated within a short amount of time, usually two or three days.

Collective dismissals in Switzerland

The Swiss legislation contains specific provisions about collective dismissals. Swiss companies are required to give a 30-day notice of termination to the employees being dismissed. Swiss companies may appeal to collective dismissals in case of bankruptcy, but even so the employer must first consult with the workers and notify the Cantonal Labor Office. The Swiss company must also notify in writing the employees about:

  • - the reasons for collective termination,
  • - the number of workers being dismissed,
  • - the number of individual employed,
  • - the time frame the notification will be given.

For additional information about the reasons for dismissal, please contact out lawyers in Switzerland.