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Recruitment

Advertising
What are the requirements relating to advertising positions?

There are no specific requirements regarding advertising positions. An exception exists for advertising positions in connection with personnel lending.

Background checks
What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries in relation to the following:

(a) Criminal records?

Yes – to the extent that the position in question justifies asking the candidate for an excerpt from the criminal register (eg, for positions requiring higher trustworthiness).

(b) Medical history?

Medical history may be requested only to the extent that this is justified by the work involved (eg, dealing with heavy workloads or dangerous jobs where physical fitness is a requirement).

(c) Drug screening?

Drug screening is justified only to the extent that it is required due to the work involved (eg, for truck drivers or dangerous jobs where physical fitness is required).

(d) Credit checks?

Credit checks are generally not permissible unless the position in question justifies such a check (eg, bankers, accountants or lawyers).

(e) Immigration status?

Employers must verify whether an employee has a suitable permit to work in Switzerland.

(f) Social media?

Employers cannot screen a candidate's social media accounts. However, professional sites such as LinkedIn and Xing may be screened.

(g) Other?
Employers may contact references given in an applicant’s CV or job application.

Wages and working time

Pay
Is there a national minimum wage and, if so, what is it?

Switzerland has no national minimum wage. Some collective bargaining agreements provide for minimum wages and these agreements may apply to a specific industry. Further, the Cantons of Neuchatel and Jura have adopted minimum wages and the Canton of Ticino is debating whether to vote on this issue.

Are there restrictions on working hours?

For employees working in industry, office personnel and employees working in larger retail shops, the maximum weekly working time is 45 hours. For all other employees, the maximum weekly working time is 50 hours. Working hours above these limits are possible only within defined limits and must be compensated by time off or pay with a 25% surcharge.

Hours and overtime
What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks?

The requirements depend on the employee’s daily working time. For employees working more than five and a half hours per day, a 15-minute break must be provided. Employees working more than seven hours per day are entitled to a rest/meal break of 30 minutes. For employees working nine or more hours per day, a rest/meal break of 60 minutes must be provided.

How should overtime be calculated?

Overtime is the difference between the agreed working time (eg, 40 hours per week) and the maximum working hours (ie, 45 hours or 50 hours per week). Excess overtime is any working time above 45 hours or 50 hours per week. Overtime is usually assessed on a weekly or monthly basis.

What exemptions are there from overtime?

Employees may waive their right to extra compensation for overtime up to the maximum of 45 hours. Waivers must be in writing. Above the stated limit, a waiver will be null and void, except for employees in a true management function.

Is there a minimum paid holiday entitlement?

The minimum paid holiday entitlement is 20 days.

What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages?

At the end of the notice period, the employer must pay the employee’s final salary, provide compensation for any untaken holidays and overtime and pay any expenses that the employee accrued. In contrast, the employer may make deductions for holidays taken in excess of the employee's entitlement or for a negative balance in working hours, provided that the subsistence minimum is observed.

Record keeping
What payroll and payment records must be maintained?

Payroll records (including social security charges) must be kept for 10 years after termination of the employment relationship.