Timekeeping – Dispensation or simplification becomes possible for some employees The Federal Council has adjusted the rules relating to timekeeping. Under clearly defined conditions, it will be possible for some employees to simplify timekeeping or forgo timekeeping altogether. This administrative simplification measure will come into effect on January 1, 2016. Initial Situation Swiss employment law currently requires detailed and complete timekeeping. In addition to recording an employee’s exact start- and end-times each day, breaks of half an hour or more must also be recorded. Detailed timekeeping is compulsory for all employees who are subject to the Federal Labour Statute. It therefore concerns most of the Swiss work force and most employees who are seconded to Switzerland by a foreign employer. For a small circle of employees, the obligation of detailed timekeeping does not currently apply because they are exempt from the scope of application of the Federal Labour Statute. This mainly concerns employees exercising a higher managerial function, scientists, independent artists, and commercial travellers. Starting January 1, 2016, the revised provisions enacted by the Federal Council will allow a considerable number of employees to simplify timekeeping or forgo it entirely. However, certain conditions must be observed. Furthermore, the current timekeeping requirements will still apply to employees who do not either dispense with timekeeping or use the new simplified timekeeping. Dispensing with timekeeping entirely Conditions No timekeeping is required if all of the following conditions are met: • A collective bargaining agreement regulates the timekeeping process. The collective bargaining agreement must be signed by the majority of the representative unions, especially those relevant to the sector or enterprise. It must also regulate health protection and be in compliance with the legally required periods of rest. Finally, the collective bargaining agreement must obligate the employer to provide an internal contact point for questions regarding the working times. • The employees work autonomously and for the most part schedule their own working times. November 2015 For further information please contact: Peter Reinert Dr. iur., Attorney +41 44 384 13 41 [email protected] Petra Hauser Dr. iur., Attorney +41 44 384 13 00 [email protected] Philippe Monnier Dr. iur., Attorney +41 44 384 13 67 [email protected] Martina Steiner Dr. iur., Attorney +41 44 384 13 90 [email protected] Baker & McKenzie Zurich Holbeinstrasse 30 CH-8034 Zurich Switzerland www.bakermckenzie.com 2 • The employees have a gross annual income of more than CHF 120,000, including bonuses. For part time employment this amount is reduced proportionally. • There are written and individual agreements with the respective employees stating that they are dispensed from timekeeping. Employees and employers can revoke such agreements annually. Documentation obligation of the employer To fulfil the documentation obligations under the new rules, an employer must allow the supervisory and executive bodies to review the collective bargaining agreement, the individual dispensation agreements, and a registry of the employees having been dispensed from timekeeping including specification of their gross annual income. Simplified timekeeping What does it mean? Under the new simplified timekeeping, an individual employer must generally only record the daily working time (e.g. 8 hours 20 minutes). Other details such as breaks no longer have to be recorded. However, for night and Sunday work, each employee’s start- and end-time of deployment must be documented. Conditions Simplified timekeeping is possible if both of the following conditions are met: • There is an agreement either: o between the employer and the employee representation body for a sector or enterprise; or o in absence of an employee representation body, between the employer and the majority of employees of an enterprise; and • Employees subject to the simplified timekeeping can generally schedule their own working times. Requirements for the agreement The agreement must regulate all of the following: • The employee category to which the simplified timekeeping applies; • Any special regulations regarding working time and rest periods; and • A joint proceeding surveying compliance with the agreement. Enterprises with fewer than 50 employees Employers with fewer than 50 employees will be able to agree in writing with individual employees to use simplified timekeeping. The agreement must specify the legal working time and implement the rest period regulations. Additionally, a documented yearly evaluation regarding the work load must take place. 3 Voluntary detailed timekeeping by employees still possible Employees who are subject to simplified timekeeping are still free to not partake and to continue recording detailed times, despite an existing agreement. The employer must provide an adequate instrument for such purpose. Documentation obligation of the employer When using the simplified timekeeping, an employer must document the overall working time of the employees and the start- and end-times of night and Sunday deployments. Further, the employer has to make available the collective or individual agreements, respectively, to the supervisory and executive bodies. Caution! The current detailed timekeeping regulations still apply to all employees who are not subject to simplified timekeeping or dispense with timekeeping under the new regulations discussed above. Likewise, the legal maximum working times and minimum rest periods are unchanged, and apply regardless of whether full timekeeping, simplified timekeeping, or no timekeeping is required. Summary The adjusted timekeeping regulations will come into force on January 1, 2016. They allow for simplified timekeeping or dispensing with timekeeping entirely if clearly defined conditions for specific employee categories are met. Whether simplified timekeeping or exemption from timekeeping is possible depends mainly on the employees' scope of autonomy regarding working time and on their gross annual income. The reform comes into force on January 1, 2016. We would be happy to assist you in developing and implementing a plan to take advantage of these opportunities brought about by these new rules.