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Working relationship

All domestic employees must be declared to comply with the law.

Under the Swiss Federal Act on Old-Age and Survivors' Insurance (known as LAVS), all people exercising gainful employment are required to pay contributions beginning on 1 January of the year following that in which they turn 17 years old. In the domestic services sector, all paid activity is subject to contributions from the first franc, even if the wages are paid in cash or remuneration in kind are less than 2,300 francs per year:

 

Vacations (Art. 21 CTT EDom)

The duration of paid annual vacation leave is:

  • 5 weeks until the age of 21;
  • 5 weeks after the age of 51 and 5 years of service with the same employer;
  • 5 weeks after 20 years of service;
  • 4 weeks between the ages of 20 and 50 years old.

During vacations, an employee is entitled to their wages in cash. If the employee is fed and/or lodged, they are also entitled to an allowance for the wages in kind, calculated, at a minimum, according to current AVS regulations.

In the event the employer is absent, the employee is entitled to their wages, their board and lodging or a food allowance.

Any time during which the employee is travelling or on vacation with the employer is not counted as vacation.

During vacations, a part-time employee is entitled to an allowance that is calculated at the rate of:

  • 8.33% of the gross wages in cash from the past 12 months if they are entitled to 4 weeks of vacation.
  • 10.64% of the gross wages in cash from the past 12 months if they are entitled to 5 weeks of vacation.  


Public holidays (Art.19 CTT EDom)

On Sundays and public holidays, only strictly necessary work may be demanded of the employee.
The employee is entitled to the following public holidays:

  • The 1st of January, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, the 1st of August, Jeûne genevois (Genevan fast), Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Public holidays do not lead to any reduction in wages for employees paid on a monthly basis. Only the 1st of August does not lead to any reduction in wages for employees paid on an hourly basis.

An employee paid on a monthly basis who must work, for a valid reason, on a legal public holiday that is not a Sunday, must benefit from a day of leave in compensation, in the 4 weeks that precede or follow the public holiday. This rule applies to employees paid on an hourly basis and who work on the 1st of August.

 

Justified absences (Art.20 CTT EDom)

In addition to ordinary leave, the employer grants the employee, without a reduction in wages:

 

  • 3 days of leave in the event of the employee’s wedding or the registration of their civil partnership;
  • 3 days of leave for the birth of a child;
  • 3 days of leave in the event of the death of the spouse, registered partner, father, mother or a child;
  • 2 days of leave in the event of the death of a brother, a sister or their spouse, grandparents or parents in law;
  • 1 day of leave in the event of the death of an uncle or an aunt.

When the wedding, registration of a civil partnership, birth or funeral take place abroad and the journey made by train, as a single journey, is longer than 8 hours, the employer grants an additional day of leave.

If a day of absence falls on a day that is not worked or during vacations, it will be compensated for.

The employer can replace food with an allowance calculated at a minimum, according to current AVS regulations.

 

End of working relationship (Art.22 and 23 CTT EDom, 335b and 335 c CO)

During the one-month trial period, either party may terminate the employment contract at any time with a 7-day period of notice.

After the trial period, the contract may be terminated at the end of any month with a notice period of:

  • 1 month during the first year of service;
  • 2 months from the second to the ninth year of service;
  • 3 months subsequently.

Notice must be given in writing.

The employee is released from their contract at the very latest on the last day of the notice period at 4.00 pm. If this day falls on a Sunday or a public holiday, the release of the employee is brought forward to the preceding working day.


Protection against dismissal (Art.336 c CO)

In the event of illness, pregnancy, maternity or military service, the employee benefits from legal protection against dismissal:

  • During a total or partial inability to work resulting from an illness or accident, and during 30 days during the first year of service
  • during 90 days from the 2nd to the 5th year of service  
  • during 180 days from the 6th year of service

During pregnancy and for 16 weeks after giving birth.

Notice given during the periods of protection is null. If notice is given before the inability to work, the notice period is suspended and then continues to run after the aforementioned period of protection.

 

Unemployment

All employees with legal status in Switzerland and holding a working permit are entitled to unemployment benefit.

Important 
Even before the end of your notice period, you are required to look for a job. If you are employed for a fixed period, you must start looking at least three months before the end of your working relationship, failing which your benefits will be suspended.

Keep all the documents proving that you have made job searches, job offers, letters of application, negative responses, etc. You will have to present them to your ORP adviser.

 

Retirement

In Switzerland, the legal retirement age is 65 for men and 64 for women.
www.ch.ch/fr/retraite/
Click on this link to get all the information about your rights when retired.

For more information, please consult our partner’s “fact sheets”:
Chèque Service
www.chequeservice.ch

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