As of January 1 2012, employers' association Swiss Staffing – which represents the most important staff leasing employers in Switzerland – has concluded with four major Swiss unions a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that regulates a number of important working terms of its employees.

As of the same date, the Swiss federal government declared this CBA as collectively applicable to the entire Swiss territory. Thus, the CBA's application is not limited to members of Swiss Staffing and the four unions mentioned above.

In other words, the application of the CBA may also be observed by smaller staff leasing companies that are not Swiss Staffing members – it may even apply in outsourcing or event marketing situations where its application is not at first obvious.

Most importantly, the CBA provides for certain minimum salaries for Zurich, Geneva, Berne and Basel, ranging from Sfr41,600 to Sfr55,900, depending on the level of apprenticeship education in each area.

Further, staff leasing companies under the CBA must take out mandatory insurance for salary payments in case of illness, covering 80% of the insured salaries for up to 720 days. The CBA also contains mandatory terms and conditions on working hours, holidays, personal days and termination notices.

Moreover, this CBA governs the hierarchy of other existing CBAs. However, if the Swiss federal government were to declare other existing CBAs as collectively applicable, they would prevail over the newly enacted CBA (grandfather rule). In addition, certain CBAs that have not been declared generally applicable will also prevail (eg, the CBA for the Swiss Post, the CBA for Swiss ports in Zurich, Geneva and Basel, and the CBAs for certain hospitals and for most car dealerships).

For further information on this topic please contact Thomas Rihm at Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte by telephone (+41 44 421 45 45) fax (+41 44 421 45 00) or email ([email protected]).