Swiss working time regulations simplified for higher ranked employees

On 1 January 2016, new articles 73a and 73b of the Swiss Ordinance relating to the Labour Law Act (OLLA1) entered into force. Reflecting the reality of today’s work life, the revised law simplifies the employer’s obligation to record working hours in a detailed manner, as had been required previously. The simplification is limited to certain categories of employees and is subject to specific requirements.

As a general principle, Swiss law requires that every employer records the daily working time of its employees, including the beginning and end of work, overtime and breaks. The new law provides for the following simplifications:

  • Exemption from recording of working hours: An exemption from work time recording is possible for employees with an annual income of minimum CHF 120’000, provided that they have significant autonomy in their work schedule. The exemption can be implemented on the basis of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and the written consent of each individual employee.
  • Simplified recording of working hours: In the absence of a CBA, recording of the total number of hours worked per day will be sufficient for employees who have significant autonomy with respect to their work schedule. Simplified time keeping must be agreed with the works council or, if there is no works council, with the majority of employees. In companies with less than 50 employees, simplified recording of working hours may be agreed upon with each individual employee. Recording of break times, the beginning and end of work will not be necessary any longer. Working hours on Sundays as well as night shifts are, additionally, to be specified with the start and end time.