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Europe Guide

Employment — Switzerland

Overview

Employment  

In an economically challenging global context, Switzerland has continued to perform well. Its open economy remains well integrated into the process of globalisation.

Swiss GDP is one of the highest in the world and is expected to increase by 1.5% in 2017. The unemployment rate is one of the lowest globally at around 3.6%. Despite these figures, economic challenges continue to arise from the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc, as well as the weakening of banking secrecy.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, a number of European Community nationals have come to work in Switzerland thanks to bilateral agreements between the State and the EU. Although Switzerland is indeed not a member of the EU, Switzerland has entered into a number of agreements with a view to opening its market to European workers.

Switzerland is also a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and has entered into free trade agreements with various countries, including China and Canada. The number of cross-border workers has regularly increased over the course of the last decade, reaching approximately 100,000 people in the Canton of Geneva (out of a total population of around 460,000 inhabitants). As a result, Swiss workers are used to working in multicultural environments.

Several legal tools have accompanied the opening of borders, including the possibility for Swiss authorities to set minimum wage standards in sectors that suffer from wage dumping. In Switzerland, minimum wages have traditionally only been raised through collective bargaining agreements and were therefore negotiated between social partners. However, there is no national minimum wage in Switzerland – only ones that apply in certain regions. The state may impose a minimum wage in a specific business sector where there is a risk of dumping, as has been the case in the beauty sector.

Implementing a vote by the Swiss population, the Swiss Parliament recently drafted a bill requesting that the Federal Council take limited steps in occupational groups, fields of activity or economic regions with above-average employment rate.

In the scope to be demarcated by the Federal Council, vacancies that are not directly filled by employees registered at Swiss public employment services will have to be communicated first to the public employment services for them to suggest potential candidates for an interview or aptitude test. The purpose is to favour the hiring of employees already registered to Swiss public employment services and exhaust the workforce already present in Switzerland. This solution is considered as still admissible in the context of the abovementioned bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU. Both the government and the Swiss economic community are keen to respond to the requirements of an open economy.

Generally speaking, observers agree that Swiss employment law is well-adapted to the structure and needs of the corporations based in the Swiss market. Swiss employment law creates a favourable balance between the need to protect workers and the demand for businesses to be flexible. A system with a range of social insurance branches makes it possible to cover the risks incurred by employees at reasonable rates for companies. Employer-employee relations in Switzerland are traditionally calm and harmonious. Strikes are uncommon.

Employment law falls under different acts, among which the code of obligations and the labour act are of most significance.

The employee has to follow instructions set by the employer and comply with company rules. In return for this obligation of compliance from the employee, the employer has to protect the personality of the employee and respect specific rules regarding e.g. maximum working hours, maternity protection, safety and security standards, etc. Case law is also very important.

Swiss employment law has not been significantly amended in recent years and remains relatively liberal. In principle, dismissal remains free (penalties may be imposed if the dismissal is unfair), and the majority of employers offer permanent contracts.

There have been recent further developments in:

- Accident Insurance: the scope of this insurance has been extended in order to fill some gaps that could arise at the beginning or end of an employment term.

- Bonuses: in many recent verdicts, the Swiss Federal Court has clarified the system of variable remuneration with regard to employment law, thus providing welcome clarification.

The Court recalled that the distinction between a variable salary and a gratuity is crucial, as the rules applicable to each of these forms are fundamentally different. Additionally, the Court ruled that the law of subsidiarity, under which a bonus can only be considered as a gratuity if it remains secondary when compared with the base salary, does not apply to employees whose annual remuneration is already five times greater than the median Swiss salary in the private sector (currently around CHF370,000).

- Recording of working time: the employer has an obligation to record employees' working time. Each employer is free to adopt a recording system that suits the business activity and organisation of work within their company.

As of 1 January 2016 the law provides for the possibility, under very restrictive conditions, of waiving or of simplifying the recording of working time. For instance, a total waiver of the recording of working time is possible with respect to employees with a high level of autonomy if a collective bargaining agreement is signed (amongst other conditions). A simplified recording is possible with respect to employees who can decide a significant part of their work schedule if a collective agreement is signed (amongst other conditions).

- Redundancy schemes: traditionally, the negotiation of a redundancy scheme was not mandatory unless an undertaking had been taken in respect thereof in a collective bargaining agreement. Since 1 January 2014, companies with at least 250 employees must enter into a redundancy scheme with trade unions if collective redundancies involve more than 30 employees within 30 days (or are for the same reason but spread out over time). In the event that the partners are unable to reach an agreement regarding the content of the redundancy scheme, the content will be set by an arbitral tribunal.

- Variable pay and other compensation: since 2014, as a rule, the pay of board members and the management of Swiss public companies listed on the Swiss or foreign stock exchanges has to be approved by the general meeting of the shareholders. This so-called "Minder Ordinance" aims to strengthen the rights of shareholders. It also strictly prohibits certain types of pay, such as golden parachutes.

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Band 1

第一等

From the Chambers Europe guide

What the team is known for Market leaders with an outstanding reputation for employment agreements, bonus schemes and mass dismissals. Highly regarded for advice on workplace equality and employment regulations. Active in the areas of pensions and social security, acting for both employers and employees. Boasts additional expertise in immigration and data protection matters. Assists with employment law aspects of reorganisations.

Strengths An enthusiastic interviewee reports: "I would recommend Blesi & Papa because of their client-oriented, high-quality service. The firm provided solution-oriented consulting that supported the decision-making process in a constructive manner."

Sources are also impressed by the firm's speed, saying that "all mandates are resolved in due time" and that the lawyers "answer and act very swiftly."

Market commentators praise the lawyers for their "extremely professional demeanour," saying: "They are a pleasure to work with and we  would recommend them without hesitation."

Value for money Clients are delighted with the firm's value for money, enthusing that "they are worth each Swiss franc" and that "the level of service is comparable to a big firm but without the big price."

Significant clients Rockwell, Syngenta, Swisscom, Unilever, Kuoni. 

Notable practitioners 

Clients laud Alfred Blesi as "one of the best employment lawyers in Switzerland," adding: "He is unbelievably pragmatic" and "very diligent, always calm and a good negotiator." Blesi is particularly strong in the area of social security law and has broad experience across employment law, including advising on incentive schemes and pensions law.

The "very detailed and customer-focused" Roberta Papa is particularly highlighted for social security and data protection law. Clients describe Papa as "extremely knowledgeable, very experienced, very calm and a pleasure to be around."

Thomas Pietruszak advises clients on data protection law and employee share plans. Clients highlight his ability in court, saying: "If you have a nasty attorney on the other side, he's very good at dealing with that." He also has a strong focus on the employment law aspects of the use of technology.

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Band 1

第一等

From the Chambers Europe guide

What the team is known for Stellar Zürich-based team advising both employers and employees on a range of labour and employment issues. Particularly strong on mandates relating to social security, pensions and public service. Has a particular focus on the banking sector. Advises on both civil and criminal law elements of employment matters. Well regarded in the area of contract law.

Strengths Sources say: "Streiff von Kaenel is among the strongest firms in this area in Switzerland."

Interviewees describe the lawyers as "great specialists within a Swiss context."

Notable practitioners  

Adrian von Kaenel is "an excellent practitioner" who is greatly appreciated by sources. He is highly regarded in the fields of social security law, pensions law and contractual law. He advises a number of clients on whistle-blowing queries and mass dismissals. He often acts as an arbitrator in employment cases.

Roger Rudolf advises clients on a number of areas within employment law, including contracts, and often represents clients in employment litigation. He also assists with data protection law in an employment context.

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Band 2

第二等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Serge Pannatier and Peter Reinert
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations: Geneva and Zürich

What the team is known for Strong international network helps the firm handle mass dismissals and negotiations with unions in a cross-border context. Assists with the employment law aspects of large-scale restructurings and M&A transactions. Also very active in incentive plans. Frequently acts on equality, social security and pension matters. Well regarded for advising on immigration law issues.

Strengths Clients highlight the firm's "very professional network all over the world" and the co-ordination that ensures "the quality we know from Switzerland is guaranteed in other jurisdictions."

According to sources, the lawyers are "fast and reliable. They think like entrepreneurs and even when you have several tasks, they make it possible." 

Work highlights Represented the World Meteorological Organization in an internal appeal process with a civil servant whose assignment was not renewed, a matter worth CHF150,000.

Acted for Baxter on its spin-off into two separate groups.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Reinert is extremely well regarded by pharmaceutical companies for bonus and termination mandates. Clients laud his "good language skills, eye for detail, reliability and the fact that he never misses anything." Reinert also has a strong focus on competition law elements of employment mandates.

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Band 2

第二等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Balz Gross and Gregor Bühler
- 4 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Zürich

What the team is known for Respected team advising employers on termination agreements, mass dismissals and employee participation plans. Also recognised for social security and pension matters, as well as compensation issues. Represents employers in litigation and has a strong data privacy practice. Advises Swiss and multinational companies, including new clients Uber and Lombard Odier, on the employment law aspects of transactions.

Strengths Interviewees report that Homburger "does a good job for us, the lawyers are very responsive and the firm has a good team." 

Clients also describe the team as "very quick: the service was both time- and cost-efficient."

Significant clients UBS, Credit Suisse, Givaudan, Google, Goldman Sachs.

Notable practitioners  

Balz Gross represents clients in employment litigation, particularly involving management compensation, participation plans and abuse of information. Clients describe him as "a very experienced, calm, thoughtful individual who has seen it all before." Gross also advises on transfer of undertakings and other contractual matters.

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Band 2

第二等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Andreas Casutt and Thomas Sprecher
- 6 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Zürich

What the team is known for Frequently acts on employment matters arising from M&A transactions. Advises companies and high-ranking employees on social insurance, pensions, employee transfer and data protection. Also assists with compensation, litigation, mass dismissals and regulatory compliance, including advice on internal investigations. Provides employment law advice on taxation questions.

Strengths A client stresses the firm's "efficiency – the lawyers get back to us professionally and in a short time, we cherish that."

Other sources also mention the firm's "very quick response time, good proposals, proactivity and availability."

Work highlights Advised the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research on personnel recruitment, employee termination, employment agreements and regulatory issues.

Significant clients Klopman, FIFA, Audatex, Capvis, PwC.

Notable practitioners  

Andreas Casutt advises corporations and senior executives on contracts, dismissals, incentive schemes and pay issues. Clients describe him as "business-minded, a good communicator and a negotiator who gets results." Casutt often assists with shareholder litigation, and other types of employment litigation.

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Band 2

第二等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Vincent Carron
- 4 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations: Geneva and Zürich

What the team is known for Renowned for representing major employers from the banking sector. Well regarded for employment work relating to international and domestic M&A transactions. Also advises on tax and immigration law, and is particularly recognised for its litigation work, including equality matters. Assists clients with data protection, pensions and internal employment regulations.

Strengths Clients say that the team is "very available and highly skilled in employment law."

One interviewee describes the lawyers as "sharp and efficient." 

Work highlights Acted for Cardinal Health on benefits issues, drafting new contracts and the transfer of contracts following the acquisition of Cordis, in a matter valued at USD5.9 million. 

Notable practitioners  

Vincent Carron is well known for representing clients in employment disputes, as well as advisory work, such as termination agreements and bonus schemes. Clients enthuse that Carron "delivers one of the best services you can have for employment litigation in Geneva." He is also highly regarded for his work relating to pension funds.

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Band 3

第三等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Rayan Houdrouge and Matthias Oertle
- 4 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations: Geneva, Zürich and Lausanne

What the team is known for Represents clients from the banking, engineering and pharmaceutical sectors in immigration and discrimination mandates. Assists with employee benefits, pensions and social security queries. Also acts on transactional employment issues such as transfer of undertakings as well as on a range of contentious matters. Advises on termination and non-compete agreements. 

Strengths Clients underline that the lawyers have "a good understanding of the international perspective and are pragmatic, detailed and focused."

Clients highlight the team's "availability, pragmatism and creativity." 

Work highlights Advised the Eli Lilly Group on the collective dismissal of the employees of Elanco Centre de Recherche Santé Animale and transfer of some of them to another Elanco entity.

Acted for Universal Pictures International on the transfer of employees from a third party to Universal Pictures International. 

Significant clients Merck Group, Deutsche Bank, BlackRock, Richemont, Auchan.

Notable practitioners  

Rayan Houdrouge advises clients on executive transfers and collective dismissals. Houdrouge also assists with employee benefits mandates, internal audits and compensation packages. Clients praise his "intelligence, commercial acumen, pragmatism and patience." He has a strong focus on social security and pensions law.

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Band 3

第三等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Ueli Sommer
- 5 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations: Zürich, Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Lugano

What the team is known for Has opened new offices in western Switzerland. Acts for clients from the IT, retail and finance sectors on pensions and immigration matters. Strong presence in litigation. Represents clients in collective bargaining, mass dismissals and outsourcing mandates. Assists employers with tax and social security matters, also advises on transactional matters.

Strengths Market observers underline the firm's "very broad, deep knowledge and short response times."

Clients say that the lawyers are "efficient, quick and competent."

Work highlights Acted for Teva on the employment elements of the acquisition of the generics division of Actavis.

Assisted Bayer with the employment law aspects of the sale of its diabetes care business.

Significant clients Apple, Allergan/Actavis, Hugo Boss, Greatbatch, Migros.

Notable practitioners  

Philippe Nordmann has a strong litigation practice, particularly concerning bonus payments. Clients say that "his strength is to make a difficult concept easy to understand for people who are not familiar with legal vocabulary." Nordmann also advises on bonus schemes, mass dismissals and working time regulations.

Clients describe Ueli Sommer as "very pragmatic, extremely responsive, helpful and able to think about things in a new way." Sommer advises clients on compensation matters, restructurings and negotiations with unions. He acted for Truetzschler on a mass dismissal, negotiation with unions and termination agreements with managers.

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Band 4

第四等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations: Zürich, Geneva, Lugano and Zug

What the team is known for Advises on management compensation, employment agreements and residence permits. Covers regulatory work, litigation, immigration and employment contracts. Represents clients from the financial services, life sciences and transport sectors in restructuring. Strong links to the firm's banking and finance and M&A departments, with experience of mass dismissals.

Strengths Clients appreciate the firm's work in this area and are "very happy to work with them." 

Work highlights Advised Syngenta on the employment law aspects of its proposed USD43 billion takeover by ChemChina.

Acted for CSA Energy-Infrastructure Switzerland on the acquisition of a 30% stake in Energie Zürichsee Linth.

Significant clients HNA Group, Freenet, UBS, Credit Suisse, Novartis.

Notable practitioners  

Market commentators report that Marie-Christine Balzan is "very pleasant to work with." Balzan represents domestic and international clients in employment litigation and advises on mass dismissals. She is also active in immigration issues, as well as on social security mandates.

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Band 4

第四等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Stéphanie Fuld
- Office locations: Geneva, Zürich, Lausanne and Bern 

What the team is known for Advises both employers and employees on the full range of contentious and non-contentious areas of employment law. Possesses notable expertise in immigration, contract drafting, bonus plans and social security matters. Acts for a number of educational and healthcare institutions, and also represents senior executives.

Strengths Sources say that they "can reach the firm very easily and the firm's legal assessments are precise."

Clients stress that the lawyers are "very reactive and proactive, and work as our partners; it is a real partnership." 

Notable practitioners  

According to clients, Stéphanie Fuld is "incredibly responsive and puts things into layman's terms." Several clients mention her pragmatism. Fuld advises domestic and international companies on bonus schemes, mass dismissals, data protection and business transfer. She acts on immigration and social security mandates, and represents clients in litigation.

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Band 4

第四等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Martin Ammann and Thomas Kälin
- 4 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations: Zürich, Geneva, Zug and Lausanne

What the team is known for Represents employers and high-level employees in outsourcing, restructuring and bonus package mandates. Also advises on immigration, disclosure and pension issues. Draws on the expertise of a range of departments including corporate and commercial, tax and IP. Has a number of clients from the banking, healthcare and technology sectors. Strong focus on social security.

Strengths A number of clients highlight the firm's responsiveness, saying that "the lawyers are very reactive" and underlining the "speed of service."

Clients also appreciate the firm's "pragmatic approach and understanding of business reality." 

Work highlights Represented Rothschild Bank in employment litigation that touched on salary bonus issues.

Provided Tesla Motors with ongoing advice on a range of employment law issues.

Significant clients Allergan, railCare, Anteis, GoPro, Calida.

Notable practitioners  

Martin Ammann is a key contact at the firm. 

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Band 4

第四等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Martin Müller
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations: Zürich and Geneva

What the team is known for Frequently seen handling various transaction-related matters such as mass dismissals and employee transfers. Has broadened its practice to include immigration advice and matters involving pensions and bonus plans. Advises clients from the pharmaceutical and financial sectors on employment agreements for senior executives. Represents clients in employment law disputes.

Strengths Clients praise the firm's responsiveness, with comments describing the lawyers as "very responsive" and "very reachable." Others mention their "high levels of responsiveness." 

Work highlights Represented Kelly Services in allegations of unfair dismissal, bullying and harassment brought by a senior employee.

Advised Shire on a reorganisation following the integration of Baxalta.

Significant clients Zimmer, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Cofra Holding, Mylan, GM.

Notable practitioners  

According to clients, Martin Müller is "really client-focused, quick to respond, pragmatic and solution-oriented." He advises clients on business transfers and mass dismissals, as well as on pensions and compensation schemes. He assisted Johnson & Johnson with the employment law aspects of the transfer of a subsidiary.

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Band 4

第四等

From the Chambers Europe guide

What the team is known for New entrant to the rankings after receiving a number of plaudits from interviewees. Has a strong focus on pensions law, also active in advising on immigration law matters. Assists clients with social and private insurance mandates. In addition, the team acts on liability matters within employment law.

Strengths Market commentators particularly highlight the firm's expertise in pensions law. 

Notable practitioners  

Sources highlight Anne Troillet for her work on employee benefits and pensions. She is a founding partner of the firm.

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Band 4

第四等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Thomas Loher
- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Zürich

What the team is known for Recognised for advising senior-level employees on hiring and termination packages. Acts for employers on mass dismissals and transfers of undertakings. Experienced in handling immigration matters, including work and residence permits, as well as international secondment cases. Additionally acts on outsourcing and relocation matters.

Strengths Clients report that "the reliable and flexible way they deal with cases is particularly impressive."

Clients also appreciate that the firm provides "precise, fast, in-depth information" and add that the lawyers are "very friendly and interested in our business."

Work highlights Provided ongoing employment law advice to Longchamp Suisse. 

Notable practitioners  

Thomas Loher acts for companies and private individuals on contract negotiations, immigration and secondment. He advises on banking investigations. Clients describe Loher as a "good listener who knew the regulations, came up with a good strategy and negotiated well." He has a particular focus on the employment aspects of sports law.

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Overview

Employment  

In an economically challenging global context, Switzerland has continued to perform well. Its open economy remains well integrated into the process of globalisation.

Swiss GDP is one of the highest in the world and is expected to increase by 1.5% in 2017. The unemployment rate is one of the lowest globally at around 3.6%. Despite these figures, economic challenges continue to arise from the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc, as well as the weakening of banking secrecy.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, a number of European Community nationals have come to work in Switzerland thanks to bilateral agreements between the State and the EU. Although Switzerland is indeed not a member of the EU, Switzerland has entered into a number of agreements with a view to opening its market to European workers.

Switzerland is also a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and has entered into free trade agreements with various countries, including China and Canada. The number of cross-border workers has regularly increased over the course of the last decade, reaching approximately 100,000 people in the Canton of Geneva (out of a total population of around 460,000 inhabitants). As a result, Swiss workers are used to working in multicultural environments.

Several legal tools have accompanied the opening of borders, including the possibility for Swiss authorities to set minimum wage standards in sectors that suffer from wage dumping. In Switzerland, minimum wages have traditionally only been raised through collective bargaining agreements and were therefore negotiated between social partners. However, there is no national minimum wage in Switzerland – only ones that apply in certain regions. The state may impose a minimum wage in a specific business sector where there is a risk of dumping, as has been the case in the beauty sector.

Implementing a vote by the Swiss population, the Swiss Parliament recently drafted a bill requesting that the Federal Council take limited steps in occupational groups, fields of activity or economic regions with above-average employment rate.

In the scope to be demarcated by the Federal Council, vacancies that are not directly filled by employees registered at Swiss public employment services will have to be communicated first to the public employment services for them to suggest potential candidates for an interview or aptitude test. The purpose is to favour the hiring of employees already registered to Swiss public employment services and exhaust the workforce already present in Switzerland. This solution is considered as still admissible in the context of the abovementioned bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU. Both the government and the Swiss economic community are keen to respond to the requirements of an open economy.

Generally speaking, observers agree that Swiss employment law is well-adapted to the structure and needs of the corporations based in the Swiss market. Swiss employment law creates a favourable balance between the need to protect workers and the demand for businesses to be flexible. A system with a range of social insurance branches makes it possible to cover the risks incurred by employees at reasonable rates for companies. Employer-employee relations in Switzerland are traditionally calm and harmonious. Strikes are uncommon.

Employment law falls under different acts, among which the code of obligations and the labour act are of most significance.

The employee has to follow instructions set by the employer and comply with company rules. In return for this obligation of compliance from the employee, the employer has to protect the personality of the employee and respect specific rules regarding e.g. maximum working hours, maternity protection, safety and security standards, etc. Case law is also very important.

Swiss employment law has not been significantly amended in recent years and remains relatively liberal. In principle, dismissal remains free (penalties may be imposed if the dismissal is unfair), and the majority of employers offer permanent contracts.

There have been recent further developments in:

- Accident Insurance: the scope of this insurance has been extended in order to fill some gaps that could arise at the beginning or end of an employment term.

- Bonuses: in many recent verdicts, the Swiss Federal Court has clarified the system of variable remuneration with regard to employment law, thus providing welcome clarification.

The Court recalled that the distinction between a variable salary and a gratuity is crucial, as the rules applicable to each of these forms are fundamentally different. Additionally, the Court ruled that the law of subsidiarity, under which a bonus can only be considered as a gratuity if it remains secondary when compared with the base salary, does not apply to employees whose annual remuneration is already five times greater than the median Swiss salary in the private sector (currently around CHF370,000).

- Recording of working time: the employer has an obligation to record employees' working time. Each employer is free to adopt a recording system that suits the business activity and organisation of work within their company.

As of 1 January 2016 the law provides for the possibility, under very restrictive conditions, of waiving or of simplifying the recording of working time. For instance, a total waiver of the recording of working time is possible with respect to employees with a high level of autonomy if a collective bargaining agreement is signed (amongst other conditions). A simplified recording is possible with respect to employees who can decide a significant part of their work schedule if a collective agreement is signed (amongst other conditions).

- Redundancy schemes: traditionally, the negotiation of a redundancy scheme was not mandatory unless an undertaking had been taken in respect thereof in a collective bargaining agreement. Since 1 January 2014, companies with at least 250 employees must enter into a redundancy scheme with trade unions if collective redundancies involve more than 30 employees within 30 days (or are for the same reason but spread out over time). In the event that the partners are unable to reach an agreement regarding the content of the redundancy scheme, the content will be set by an arbitral tribunal.

- Variable pay and other compensation: since 2014, as a rule, the pay of board members and the management of Swiss public companies listed on the Swiss or foreign stock exchanges has to be approved by the general meeting of the shareholders. This so-called "Minder Ordinance" aims to strengthen the rights of shareholders. It also strictly prohibits certain types of pay, such as golden parachutes.

READ MORE

READ LESS

Band 1

Blesi & Papa

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clients laud Alfred Blesi as "one of the best employment lawyers in Switzerland," adding: "He is unbelievably pragmatic" and "very diligent, always calm and a good negotiator." Blesi is particularly strong in the area of social security law and has broad experience across employment law, including advising on incentive schemes and pensions law.

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Band 1

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers Europe guide

Peter Reinert is extremely well regarded by pharmaceutical companies for bonus and termination mandates. Clients laud his "good language skills, eye for detail, reliability and the fact that he never misses anything." Reinert also has a strong focus on competition law elements of employment mandates.

^ Return to Top

Band 1

Streiff von Kaenel

From the Chambers Europe guide

Adrian von Kaenel is "an excellent practitioner" who is greatly appreciated by sources. He is highly regarded in the fields of social security law, pensions law and contractual law. He advises a number of clients on whistle-blowing queries and mass dismissals. He often acts as an arbitrator in employment cases.

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Band 2

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

From the Chambers Europe guide

Vincent Carron is well known for representing clients in employment disputes, as well as advisory work, such as termination agreements and bonus schemes. Clients enthuse that Carron "delivers one of the best services you can have for employment litigation in Geneva." He is also highly regarded for his work relating to pension funds.

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Band 2

Niederer Kraft & Frey AG

From the Chambers Europe guide

Andreas Casutt advises corporations and senior executives on contracts, dismissals, incentive schemes and pay issues. Clients describe him as "business-minded, a good communicator and a negotiator who gets results." Casutt often assists with shareholder litigation, and other types of employment litigation.

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Band 2

CHANSON WILLE Rechtsanwälte

From the Chambers Europe guide

Georges Chanson of CHANSON WILLE Rechtsanwälte advises companies and employees on a number of employment law topics, including contract law, as well as representing them in employment law disputes. Interviewees say that he is "an excellent guy who is definitely a player in the Zürich area."

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Band 2

Homburger

From the Chambers Europe guide

Balz Gross represents clients in employment litigation, particularly involving management compensation, participation plans and abuse of information. Clients describe him as "a very experienced, calm, thoughtful individual who has seen it all before." Gross also advises on transfer of undertakings and other contractual matters.

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Band 2

Blesi & Papa

From the Chambers Europe guide

The "very detailed and customer-focused" Roberta Papa is particularly highlighted for social security and data protection law. Clients describe Papa as "extremely knowledgeable, very experienced, very calm and a pleasure to be around."

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Band 2

Blesi & Papa

From the Chambers Europe guide

Thomas Pietruszak advises clients on data protection law and employee share plans. Clients highlight his ability in court, saying: "If you have a nasty attorney on the other side, he's very good at dealing with that." He also has a strong focus on the employment law aspects of the use of technology.

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Band 2

Advokaturbüro Frei Steger Senti

From the Chambers Europe guide

Christoph Senti of Advokaturbüro Frei Steger Senti is particularly active in advising clients on contractual law. Market commentators describe him as "very client-oriented and friendly." Senti also represents clients in employment law litigation.

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Band 3

BianchiSchwald LLC

From the Chambers Europe guide

According to clients, Stéphanie Fuld is "incredibly responsive and puts things into layman's terms." Several clients mention her pragmatism. Fuld advises domestic and international companies on bonus schemes, mass dismissals, data protection and business transfer. She acts on immigration and social security mandates, and represents clients in litigation.

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Band 3

burckhardt Ltd

From the Chambers Europe guide

Regula Hinderling of burckhardt Ltd represents clients from the pharmaceutical and financial sectors in employment law disputes. Interviewees "appreciate her pragmatism, responsiveness and way of finding solutions." Hinderling acted for a global transport provider on a non-competition obligation lawsuit against a former employee.

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Band 3

Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte KLG

From the Chambers Europe guide

Thomas Loher acts for companies and private individuals on contract negotiations, immigration and secondment. He advises on banking investigations. Clients describe Loher as a "good listener who knew the regulations, came up with a good strategy and negotiated well." He has a particular focus on the employment aspects of sports law.

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Band 3

Walder Wyss Ltd

From the Chambers Europe guide

Philippe Nordmann has a strong litigation practice, particularly concerning bonus payments. Clients say that "his strength is to make a difficult concept easy to understand for people who are not familiar with legal vocabulary." Nordmann also advises on bonus schemes, mass dismissals and working time regulations.

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Band 3

Streiff von Kaenel

From the Chambers Europe guide

Roger Rudolf advises clients on a number of areas within employment law, including contracts, and often represents clients in employment litigation. He also assists with data protection law in an employment context.

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Band 3

Walder Wyss Ltd

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clients describe Ueli Sommer as "very pragmatic, extremely responsive, helpful and able to think about things in a new way." Sommer advises clients on compensation matters, restructurings and negotiations with unions. He acted for Truetzschler on a mass dismissal, negotiation with unions and termination agreements with managers.

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Band 4

Bär & Karrer AG

From the Chambers Europe guide

Market commentators report that Marie-Christine Balzan is "very pleasant to work with." Balzan represents domestic and international clients in employment litigation and advises on mass dismissals. She is also active in immigration issues, as well as on social security mandates.

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Band 4

Lenz & Staehelin

From the Chambers Europe guide

Rayan Houdrouge advises clients on executive transfers and collective dismissals. Houdrouge also assists with employee benefits mandates, internal audits and compensation packages. Clients praise his "intelligence, commercial acumen, pragmatism and patience." He has a strong focus on social security and pensions law.

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Band 4

Pestalozzi

From the Chambers Europe guide

According to clients, Martin Müller is "really client-focused, quick to respond, pragmatic and solution-oriented." He advises clients on business transfers and mass dismissals, as well as on pensions and compensation schemes. He assisted Johnson & Johnson with the employment law aspects of the transfer of a subsidiary.

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Band 4

Vischer

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clients say that Marc-Philippe Prinz of Vischer "has a global perspective as well as a local perspective, is very responsive and goes the extra mile." He advises on compensation matters and the employment implications of reorganisations. Prinz assisted HAYS with staff licensing matters.

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Band 4

Schneider Troillet

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sources highlight Anne Troillet for her work on employee benefits and pensions. She is a founding partner of the firm.

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Up and Coming

CMS

From the Chambers Europe guide

Christian Gersbach of CMS represents clients from the retail sector in employment disputes. Market observers report that he "understands the law from a layman's perspective and can explain the impact for businesses." He also acts on contractual law matters. He advised Nike on collective bargaining agreements and non-compete undertakings.

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Up and Coming

OHER & Associés

From the Chambers Europe guide

Nathalie Subilia of OHER & Associés is described by commentators as "a good, rigorous employment specialist." Subilia advises employers and employees on contract negotiations, employee transfer and mass dismissal. She also advises on immigration law, social insurance and pension plans. She represents clients in employment law disputes.

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