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Switzerland - Working time - 2012


SOURCES


Name of Act

Ordinance No. 1 of 2000, 10 May 2000, as last amended by Ordinance of 6 May 2009
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Name of Act

Ordinance No. 2 of 2000, 10 May 2000, as last amended my Ordinance of 22 August 2007

Name of Act

Labour Act of 13 March 1964, as amended by Act of 20 March 2008
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Name of Act

Domestic Work Act of 1981, 20 March 1981, last amended by Act of 20 March 2008

Name of Act

Ordinance about Domestic Work of 1982, 20 December 1982, last modified by Act of 12 September 2007

Name of Act

Unemployment Insurance Act of 1982, 25 June 1982, as last amended by Act of 13 June 2008

Name of Act

Ordinance No. 5 of 2007, 28 September 2007

Name of Act

Code of Obligations of 30 March 1911

Other source used

Deprtament of Labour, Guidelines on the most important information regarding work sharing, 2009

LEGAL DEFINITIONS


Working time/working hours

Time during which a work is to be at the disposal of the employer.

It includes periods of training that is required by the employer or which is a legal or professional obligation.

The way to work is generally no working time. Exceptions:
The additional time for the way to work when the employee works temporarily in a different place.
The way to work when the employee does on-call-work.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §§ 13, 15

Night work(er)

Work activities involving a minimum of twenty-five nights yearly (work between 8p.m. and 6a.m.)
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 § 31

Shift work(er)

When two or more groups of workers alternate in same work position under a determined time schedule.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 § 34

On-call work

Time during which the employee, in addition to normal hours of work, is ready to intervene to remedy disturbances, assist in case of urgencies, or perform control visits.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 § 14

NORMAL HOURS LIMITS


Daily hours limit


General limit

No general limit is established. However, the Labour Act establishes that either during daytime or nighttime, work cannot be performed for more than 14 hours, therein included rest breaks and overtime work.
Labour Act S10(2)

Exceptions

The relevant government authority can permit minor deviations from the working hours limits where their application would entail extraordinary difficulties and where the majority of the workers concerned, or their representatives in the undertaking, have consented.
Labour Act § 28

Special categories


» Night work

Night work duration shall not exceed 9 hours, or 10 hours including rest breaks.

A 10 hour limit is permitted for workers who perform a maximum of 3 nights of night work over a 7 day period.

Young workers can perform a maximum of 9 hours work per day.
Labour Act §17a
Ordinance No. 5 of 2007 §12

» Shift work

The daily working time limit shall be of 11 hours including rest breaks during day work when there are 2 shifts.

It shall be of 10 hours, if in a three shift system including nights.
Labour Act §25
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §34

» Young workers

Young workers below 18 years may work a maximum time of 9 hours a day.

If the worker is under 13 years of age: 3 hours a day, 9 hours a week, in school holidays 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week.
Labour Act §31
Ordinance No. 5 of 2007 §10, 11

» Domestic work

Domestic work is not allowed before 6 am or after 8 pm as well as on Sundays and public holidays.
Domesic Work Act §7
Domestic Work Ordinance §7

Weekly hours limit


General limit

The weekly working time limit is of 45 hours (industrial enterprises; offices; technical staff and other employees, including sales staff in large retail undertakings)

For all other workers non mentioned above, the weekly working time limit is of 50 hours.
Labour Act §9(1)
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: 45 hours (industrial enterprises; offices; technical staff and other employees, including sales staff in large retail undertakings) 50 hours (all other workers)
  • 2007: 45 hours (industrial enterprises; offices; technical staff and other employees, including sales staff in large retail undertakings) 50 hours (all other workers)
  • 1995: 45 hours for worker in industry, office workers, technical personnel and other employees. 50 for all other workers.

Reference period(s)

The work week shall not exceed 5.5 days. It can extended to 6 day, as long as there is an accumulation of additional two half days of weekly rest period.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §16(2)

Exceptions

Extensions of the maximum weekly working hours are possible.

The maximum weekly working time of 45 hours can be extended by two hours if the average weekly working time does not exceed 45 hours in a 8 week period. It can be extended by four hours if the average of 45 hours is not exceeded in a 4 week period.

The maximum weekly working time of 45 or 50 hours can be extended by four hours in case of seasonal variations.

The maximum weekly working time can be extended by four hours if the average maximum time is guaranteed in a three week period and if the 5 day working week applies.

There can be different agreements in enterprises with the consent of the employees.

Collective Labour Agreements often contain 40-hour-weeks.
Labour Act §9, 27, 28
Ordinance No. 2 of 2000 §6
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 § 22

OVERTIME WORK


Criteria for overtime


General

Maximum hours of work may be exceeded in case of: urgency; establishment of inventory, of accounts or of liquidation; prevention or repair of disturbances if no other means can be ecpected from the employer.
Labour Act §12

Limits on overtime hours


General limits

Overtime may not exceed 2 hours per day, unless it is a holiday or in case of necessity, nor the following number of hours per year:

170 hours per year, for those working in a 45 hours weekly limit;
140 hours per year, for those working in a 50 hours weekly limit.
Labour Act §12
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: 2 hours daily and 170 hours (45 hour maximum weekly limit) or 140 hours (50 hour maximum weekly limit) in a calendar year
  • 2007: 2 hours daily and 170 hours (45 hour maximum weekly limit) or 140 hours (50 hour maximum weekly limit)
  • 1995: Maximum 14 hours a day, including overtime and breaks. 2 hours per day and 200 hours per calendar year, of which 60 may be worked without a special permit.

Restrictions/exceptions

Maximum hours may not exceed two hours daily, except for workdays when the employee has a day off or in cases of urgency.
Labour Act § 12

Compensation for overtime work


Overtime rate(s)

For overtime work, the employer must pay to the worker an additional 25% increase over the regular payment as overtime rate.
Labour Act §13
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: 25% increase
  • 2007: 25% increase
  • 1995: 25% premium (50% for work on Sundays and public holidays)

Exceptions

For office staff, employees and sales staff in big enterprises of the retail sector 25 % increase only if the overtime exceeds 60 hours a caldendar year

No 25 % increase if the employee agrees to the overtime and if he/she gets a compensation of free time in an adequate period.
Labour Act §13

Compensatory rest

Compensatory rest takes place within fourteen weeks unless otherwise agreed upon by employer and worker, without exceeding twelve months.

Overtime that exceeds the daily allowed working hours has to be compensated within 6 weeks.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §§ 25, 26

Special categories


Shift work

Overtime work is only permitted on week days that are not usually worked, provided they are not part of a legally required rest period.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §34

Young workers

Overtime is prohibited for young workers under sixteen years age.

Overtime for young workers above sixteen years age may only be performed on working days during the day until latestly 10 pm. It may not exceed 9 hours a day.

During their professional training young workers can only work extra hours if there is a disruption due to force majeure.
Labour Act § 31
Ordinance No. 5 of 2007 § 17

Parents

Workers with family responsibilities may not be employed to overtime without their consent.
Labour Act §36

SCHEDULES


General

The employer must take into account the worker’s family responsabilities when establishing the work and rest schedule. Family responsabilities for this purpose are the education of children until the age of 15 years and the taking in of family members who need special care.
Labour Act §36(1)

REST PERIODS


Rest breaks


General provisions

At least fifteen minutes if the working day lasts more than five and a half hours.
At least 30 minutes if the working day lasts more than 7 hours.
At least one hour if the working day lasts more than nine hours.
When workers are not allowed to leave the workplace, rest breaks are considered as hours of work.
Labour Act §15
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: At least fifteen minutes if the working day lasts more than five and a half hours. At least 30 minutes if the working day lasts more than 7 hours. At least one hour if the working day lasts more than nine hours. When workers are not allowed to leave the workplace, rest breaks are considered as hours of work.
  • 2007: Half an hour, it the working day lasts more than seven hours One hour, it the working day lasts more than nine hours. When workers are not allowed to leave workplace, rest breaks are considered as hours of work.
  • 2007: At least fifteen minutes if the working day lasts more than five and a half hours; a working time period of more than 5 and a half hours gives rise to an extra rest break.
  • 1995: 15 minutes for more than 5,5 hours of work.30 minutes for 7 hours and 1 hours for more than 9 hours.

Special categories


» Flexitime work

When working flexible hours the average hours are relevant to calculate the daily rest breaks.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 § 18

Daily rest periods


Duration

The daily rest period must be of at least 11 hours.
Labour Act 15a
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: The daily rest period must be at least 11 hours.
  • 2007: In above case, the worker may not perform overtime hours during next work period.
  • 2007: Rest period may be reduced to eight hours once a week provided that the average over two weeks amounts to eleven hours.
  • 2007: Workers must benefit from at least eleven consecutive hours of daily rest.
  • 2007: For adult workers, daily rest may be reduced to eight hours once a week provided that the average over a period of two weeks amounts to eleven hours.
  • 2007: Daily rest for adult workers in listed enterprises subject to special working time, may be reduced to nine hours provided that it is not inferior to twelve hours in average during two weeks
  • 1995: No generally applicable provisions. 12 consecutive hours for women and young workers.

Exceptions

For adult workers, daily rest may be reduced to eights hours once a week provided that the average over a period of two weeks amounts to 11 hours.

For adult workers the daily rest may be reduced to 9 hours if it amounts to 12 hours in a two week average.
Labour Act § 15 a
Ordinance No. 2 of 2000 § 9

Special categories


» On-call work

In case of on-call work, daily rest breaks may be interrupted without necessarily the remaining rest period. If the rest period is reduced to less than four consecutive hours, a next period of eleven consecutive hours is immediately granted afterwards.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 § 19

» Young workers

Daily rest of young workers is of at least 12 consecutive hours.
Ordinance No. 5 of 2007 § 16

Weekly rest periods


Duration


» General

1 day; the weekly rest day and the daily rest must add up to 35 hours.

If the working week contains more than 5 working days employees have to be granted at least half a day off per week.

This weekly half day comprises eight consecutive rest hours on a weekday to be granted immediately before or afterwards, and can take place:

- a whole morning, between 06.00 am to 02.00 pm; or
- a whole afternoon, between 12.00 am to 08.00 pm; or
- when there is a two shift system and the change between the shifts is between noon and 2 pm.; or
- in the case of a 5 day night work the employee gets two compensation days in one week.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §20, 21
Labour Act §21
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: 1 day; the weekly rest day and the daily rest must add up to 35 hours. If the working week contains more than 5 working days employees have to be granted at least half a day off per week. This weekly half day comprises eight consecutive rest hours on a weekday to be granted immediately before or afterwards, and can take place: - a whole morning, between 06.00 am to 02.00 pm; or - a whole afternoon, between 12.00 am to 08.00 pm; or - when there is a two shift system and the change between the shifts is between noon and 2 pm.; or - in the case of a 5 day night work the employee gets two compensation days in one week.
  • 2007: 1 day
  • 1995: 1 day.

» Exceptions

During a week with two or more weekly rest days or public holidays, the consecutive rest of 35 hours may be reduced to 24 hours only once.

With the consent of the employee the free half days for a maximum of four weeks can be granted in one go if the legal weekly working time is not exceeded.
Labour Act § 21
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 § 19

Day specified


» General

From Saturday 11 pm to Sunday 11 pm, it is forbideen to employ workers in work.
Labour Act §18
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §21

» Exceptions

Regular or periodic work on a Sunday needs an authorization.

It is only authorized if it is indispensable due to technical or economic reasons. Technical indispensability is given if the interruption of work would cause unacceptable disadvantages for the production or a danger for the health of workers. Economic indispensability is given if high extra costs arise or if the competitiveness with other countries would no longer be given.

Temporary work on a Sunday can be authorized where there is an urgent need for it.

Urgency is given when the work comes up at short notice and it cannot be done during the day, if work can only be done at night due to safety reasons, when cultural events require it.

The consent of individual workers is required to work on a Sunday.

Small crafts as well as hospitals, pharmacies and other enterprises (listed in the legislation) are exempt from compulsory authorization for work on a Sunday when such work is inherent to their activities.

Employees of shops and service sector enterprises located in airports or railway stations may work on Sundays.
Labour Act §§ 17, 19
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §§ 27, 28
Ordinance No. 2 of 2000 §§ 4, 15-52

Work on weekly rest day


» Criteria

Cases of emergency, eg.:
- threat of disproportinate loss;
- necessary to prevent damages;
- to get rid of profound disruptions;
- disruptions due to force majeure
- disruptions due to lack of energy or water;
- prevention of loss of perishable products;
- measures to maintain the health that cannot be delayed.

In these cases the free half day has to be granted within the following 4 weeks.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §§ 20, 26

» Compensation (for working on a rest day)

Where work on the weekly rest day is authorised on a temporary basis, the worker is entitled to a 50% addition in pay.
1:§27-1bis; Ord. 1:§21

» Prohibitions and limitations

Individual workers must consent to work on the weekly rest day.

Workers employed on a Sunday must not work for more than 6 consecutive days.
1:§27-1bis; Ord 1:§21

Special categories


» Shift workers

Minimum sixty-one weekly rest days yearly of at least thirty-five consecutive hours, of which at least 26 days must fall a Sunday between 06.00 am and 04.00 pm.
Minimum sixty-one weekly rest days yearly of at least thirty-five consecutive hours, of which at least 26 days must fall a Sunday between 06.00 am and 04.00 pm.
2:§37
2:§37

» Young workers

Young workers are not allowed to work on Sundays and at nights. Exceptions are listed in the legislation, e.g. if night work is necessary for training purposes or in cases of force majeure.
Labour Act § 31
Ordinance No. 5 of 2007 §§ 12, 13

ANNUAL LEAVE AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS


ANNUAL LEAVE


Duration


» General

Every worker is entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave.
Code of Obligations of 30 March 1911 §329a
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 1995: 4 weeks.

» Exceptions

If during a year, the worker, for any reason, has not been able to work for more than a month, the employer may reduce his/her annual leave in a 1/12 per complet month of absence.
Code of Obligations of 30 March 1911 §329b

Payment


» Amount

For the annual leave, the employer must pay to the worker an amount equal to the salary and an indemnity equivalent to the eventual due payment in kind.
Code of Obligations of 30 March 1911 §329d(1)

Schedule and splitting

The annual leave cannot be replaced by money payment or any other advantages.
Code of Obligations of 30 March 1911 §329d

Special categories


» Young workers

Until the age of 20 years, workers must be conceed 5 weeks of annual leave by the employer per a year work.
Code of Obligations of 30 March 1911 §329a

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS


Number and dates

The national holiday is equivalent to a sunday. Cantons may take 8 other days as equivalent to Sunday for the purpose of establishing them as holidays. The dates are of the discretion of the Cantons.
Labour Act §21(1)

PART-TIME WORK

No relevant provisions identified.

NIGHT WORK


Criteria for night work

Workers may not be employed outside day and evening hours.
Derogations to night work prohibition are subject to authorisation.
Such derogations may occur: regularly or periodically for indispensable technical or economic reasons; temporarily for urgent needs; in case of urgent need duly established, night work may take place between 05.00 - 06.00 am and 11.00 - 12.00 pm.

Regular or periodical night work is subject to authorisation by the Federal Office, whereas temporary night work is subject to cantonal authorisations; night work may not take place without workers’ consent.

Urgent need is established under certain listed circumstances: unforeseen additional work which cannot be deferred, and that may not be performed during the day, under weekdays; or work that must be executed by night or on Sundays for public or technical security reasons; or - for interventions of limited durations for events of a social, cultural or sportive nature.

Indispensable technical reasons that justify night or Sunday work are defined as occurring in circumstances that are listed, such as major inconvenience that work interruption would entail for the production, and safety risks.

Indispensable economic reasons that justify night or Sunday work are defined as occurring in circumstances that are listed, such as considerable economic costs resulting from interruption of work, and international competition in countries with comparable social level.

Small crafts enterprises are exempt from compulsory authorisation for night work when such work is inherent to their activities.

Exceptions to night work limitations may take place under Ordinance for vocational training, as well as for light work by young persons aged more than thirteen years, and for cultural, artistic or sports events, by young persons above fifteen years age.

Provided authorisation is granted, young workers above sixteen years age may work at night if it is required for their vocational training or in order to remedy disturbances in the undertaking that are due to force majeure.
Labour Act §16, 17
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §27, 28
Ordinance No. 5 of 2007 § 12
Ordinance No. 2 of 2000 §10

Limits

In regular or period night work, ten hours working time within a time span of twelve hours is allowed for if:
the worker is not exposed to any accrued health risk (chemical, biological or physical);
the worker is not subject to excessive pressure (physical, psychological or mental);
the work position is arranged as to prevent any reduced functional capacity susceptible to be dangerous; the worker has been declared medically apt for the work:
the effective working does not exceed ten hours within a twenty-four hour span.

In temporary night work, ten hours working time within a time span of twelve hours is allowed for if: - the work position is arranged as to prevent any reduced functional capacity susceptible to be dangerous; the effective working does not exceed ten hours within a twenty-four hour span, and - the worker consents thereto.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §29

Compensation

Premium rate of at least 25 per cent to worker performing night work on a temporary basis.

Night work on a regular basis is compensated with a 10 % time compensation. This compensations time has to be granted within one year. Extra rest period is due as of the first night work.

Compensatory rest is not granted when: average work by shift does not exceed seven hours, including rest breaks; night worker is employed only four nights weekly; night worker is employed only four nights weekly; equivalent compensatory rest is granted within a year under collective agreement or under a public law provision.

Compensatory rest is not owed for full-time workers when maximum hours of work does not exceed thirty-five hours in case of a five day week, or thirty-six hours in case of a four day week.

In case a worker is expected to perform work more than twenty-five nights yearly, the premium rate of 25 per cent for these first twenty-five nights is not necessarily converted into extra rest period.
Labour Act §17b
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §31, 32

Workers' health

Workers occupied for a minimum of twenty-five nights yearly, are entitled to medical examination, upon request. This right may be put forward every second year, or every year for workers of at least forty-five years age.
Labour Act §17c
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §43, 44

Special categories


Special categories


Young workers

Young workers under sixteen years may not be employed beyond 08:00 pm and those above that age beyond 10:00 pm.

Exceptions are provided by the law, e.g. if it is essential for their training or if there is a case of force majeure.
Labour Act §31
Ordinance No. 5 of 2007 §13, 14

Pregnant workers/recent birth

During the 8 weeks preceding childbirth, pregnant women may not work between 08:00 pm and 06:00 am.

As often as feasible, the employer must propose preganant women working between 08:00 pm and 06:00 am, equivalent work between 06:00 am and 08:00 pm. Such an obligation also purports to the period between the eighth and the sixteenth week after childbirth.

Where no such equivalent job can be offered, women working between 08:00 pm and 06:00 am are entitled to 80 per cent of their wages without premium rate for night work, including an equitable indemnity for loss of wages in kind.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §§ 35a, 35b

SHIFT WORK


Criteria for shift work

Shift work is subject to authorisation.

Regular or periodic shift work is authorised for imperative technical or economic reasons, by the Federal Office.

Temporary shift work is authorised in case of urgent need duly established, by cantonal authorities.

No worker may be employed more than six consecutive weeks in the same shift team.

In case of day or evening work with two shift teams, the workers must participate equally in both teams. The same is valid in case of night work, where workers are to participate in day or evening shifts in addition to night shifts.
Labour Act §§ 24, 25

ON-CALL WORK


Criteria

Time that worker performs on call work does not exceed seven days per four week period.
Worker may not be on call work during two consecutive weeks following his/her latest on call work service.
Exceptionally, on call work may reach a maximum of fourteen days per four week period if the enterprise does not have sufficient staff resources, and that the number of interventions performed does not surpass an average of five months yearly. Short notice of change of schedule is, for family workers, only possible with their consent.
Total of time placed at the disposal for on call work is acknowledged as hours of work.
Ordinance No. 1 of 2000 §14, 15

FLEXITIME

No relevant provisions identified.

SHORT-TIME WORK/WORK-SHARING

If there is an expected temporary loss of work the working hours can be reduced if this workloss is based on economic reasons.

If the reduction of the working time is more than 10 % the employee receives an allowance. This allowance accounts to 80 % of the salary in the last month before the beginning of the reduced working hour period.

The allowance is paid for a maximum period of 18 months.
Unemployment Insurance Act §§ 31, 32, 34, 35

RIGHT TO CHANGE WORKING HOURS


Type of changes permitted

Upon fixing hours of work and of rest, the employer must take account of workers’ family responsibilities, such as the education of children up to fifteen years, as well as care of family members.

Workers with family responsibilities may not be employed to overtime without their consent. At their request, these workers are granted a lunch break of at least one and a half hours.
Labour Act § 36

Reasons for request

The worker may request the s/he be given a rest break of one hour and half due to family responsabilities.
Labour Act §36(2)

INFORMATION & CONSULTATION

No relevant provisions identified.

Results generated on: 26th June 2019 at 11:26:22.
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