Practical Geneva

Practical information for internationals living in Geneva.

Swiss labour law

Persons concerned

  • Employees recruited locally by permanent missions, unless the written employment contract provides for the application of a foreign law; law of the sending State.
  • Spouses of members of Permanent Missions and international civil servants and their children who have obtained a Ci permit.
  • Employees of an NGO (see also : work permit).

The law does not impose any special form . The contract can be concluded in writing or orally . It is recommended that the parties conclude a written employment contract on the basis of the provisions of:

In the event of a dispute, the legal provisions shall apply.

detailed employment contract should include the following information :

  • function and job description,
  • date of entry into service,
  • trial period (CO art. 335c): between 1 to 3 months notice maximum. During this period, the period for termination of the contract is 7 days,
  • duration of the contract (indefinite or fixed),
  • working hours : depending on the sector of activity (maximum 45 hours or 50 hours per week; beyond that, it is consideredas overtime),
  • gross monthly salary (wages without deductions) (CO art. 322, 323, 323b),
  • insurances  (information notices available on the Swiss Confederation website),
  • holidays (CO art. 329a): public holidays and working hours (LTr art. 9),
  • overtime (CO art.321c) : the salary supplement is 25%,
  • end of employment relationship (CO art. 334, 335, 335a, 335b, 335c, 337): depends on seniority: 1 year = 1 month; 2 to 9 years old = 2 months, over 9 years old = 3 months. The contract is terminated for the end of the current month. There is no national minimum wage in Switzerland.

A minimum wage of CHF 23,27- per hour (as of 1 January 2022) applies in the canton of Geneva. There is no national minimum wage in Switzerland.

Some sectors of activity benefit from a CCT collective labour agreement :

Every employee is entitled to an employment certificate at the end of the employment relationship. An intermediate certificate should be requested in the event of a change of manager.

The employee can also request an intermediate certificate if he/sheis transferred within the same company (CO art.330a).

In the event of unfair dismissal, appeals may be made to the Tribunal des Prud’hommes . The procedure is free of charge in Geneva.

The lawyers on duty at the “Permanence” of the Geneva Bar Association can advise you at a lower cost on any question relating to labour law.

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