Employee and employer rights and obligations

Employee and employer rights and obligations in Switzerland

Employee and Employer Rights and Obligations in Switzerland

Swiss labor law outlines the rights and obligations of both employers and employees. Employers must respect employees’ rights and take all necessary measures to protect their personal integrity. They are responsible for providing fair and equitable working conditions, including clear information about job responsibilities, working hours, and remuneration.

Employees, in turn, are obliged to perform high-quality work, adhere to company rules, and care for the employer’s equipment and property. They must execute their duties diligently and remain loyal to the company, including protecting its business secrets (art. 321a CO). Employees are entitled to fair wages, reasonable work hours, annual vacations, health insurance, and old-age insurance.

Health and safety at work

The health and safety of workers is a major concern in Switzerland. Workers are entitled to a safe and healthy work environment, and employers must implement measures to prevent accidents and occupational diseases. Employers must assess health and safety risks and establish appropriate prevention measures, including providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers exposed to occupational hazards. Workers should collaborate with employers to implement health protection measures and assist in complying with health protection regulations (art. 6 para. 3 LTr).
Employers must ensure that workers are not forced to consume alcohol or other psychotropic substances at work, except for exceptions defined by the Federal Council (art. 6 para. 2bis LTr). Employees who find their working conditions dangerous should immediately inform their employer. If necessary measures are not taken, they may refuse to work until the conditions are corrected.

Vocational training and equal opportunities

Vocational training and equal opportunities are important concerns in Switzerland, governed by the Federal Law on Vocational Training (LFPr) and the Federal Law on Equality between Women and Men (LEg). Vocational training is considered a key pillar of education and employment, often seen as integral to equal opportunities. The Swiss vocational training system operates on a dual system, combining practical training in a company with theoretical lessons in a vocational school.
Employers are required to provide vocational training to their employees based on their abilities and skills. They are also responsible for offering continuous training to maintain and improve their skills.

Equal opportunities are a fundamental right in Switzerland. The LEg requires employers to treat men and women equally in terms of hiring, promotion, training, and pay. Various measures have been implemented to promote equal opportunities in the Swiss vocational training system, including quotas to encourage women’s training in traditionally male-dominated fields.

Employers must comply with legal requirements for equal opportunities and establish policies and procedures to promote equal opportunities within their company.

Human resource management and disciplinary procedures

Human resource management, including managing disciplinary procedures, is an important area for Swiss businesses. Disciplinary procedures aim to resolve conflicts between employees and the company, often triggered by a breach or violation of company rules. Employers must respect employees’ rights to personal integrity, fair treatment, and privacy.
Employers must establish disciplinary procedures for handling company or regulatory rule violations. These procedures should be fair and equitable, with employees given the opportunity to defend against allegations.

Disciplinary sanctions must be proportional to the violation’s severity and clearly and precisely stated. Employees should also be informed of their rights and appeals in case of disciplinary sanctions.

In professional disputes, consulting a labor law attorney is advised for tailored legal assistance.

An initial consultation

from 60 min to CHF 220.00

Asses your situation with a specialized lawyer.

You only want an appointment to ask some questions?
Not sure what to do?
Is your situation unclear?

Opt for an initial consultation with a lawyer.

You will then decide if you wish to proceed and our lawyers will give you the cost of the procedure according to your case.Appointments available in person or by videoconference.

Need a lawyer in Geneva?

Take an appointment now

by calling our secretariat or by filling out the form below. Appointments available in person or by videoconference.

+41 22 348 32 35