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A postcard from Switzerland: Discussing Employment Rules and Hiring Staff  

We created this series to help businesses who are thinking of expanding internationally and hiring staff. In this postcard series, members of our Sales team have provided helpful tips on international employment. So far, we have discussed employment rules in Chile, Denmark and Brazil.

In this post, Lucy will discuss employment rules on employing locals and expats in Switzerland. Lucy is based in our head office in Switzerland. She has a broad range of experience in advising clients to navigate their way through complex employment regulations.

Below, Lucy has picked the top three questions she gets asked most by clients when they are considering expansion into Switzerland.

1. Contracts

Can I have a worker on a fixed-term contract to begin with, as I am not sure whether it will work out long term?

Lucy: Fixed-term contracts can only be used for a specific task or a justifiable reason – we therefore recommend having an open-ended contract. Since terminations in Switzerland are typically not complicated, this is another reason to not fear using open ended contracts. 

2. Termination and Costs  

What do I need to know about termination and severance pay in Switzerland?

Lucy: The employer can end the employment contract by either giving notice or by paying an indemnity in lieu of notice. In the latter case, the contract will terminate with immediate effect. Notice periods usually vary from a few weeks to a few months depending on length of service within the company.

3. Statutory Benefits 

What are the statutory employee benefits in Switzerland? 

Lucy: This is a common question I get asked by both workers and clients. I have therefore broken it down in the three various sections below: 

Statutory Paid Holiday

Holiday entitlement is at least four calendar weeks so 20 days for an employee working 5 days per week. 

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Maternity leave is granted for 14 weeks, and mothers must take the mandatory period of 8 weeks following the birth. During maternity leave, employees receive an allowance equal to 80% of the average salaries funded by the state.  

There is no statutory paternity leave, although employers customarily allow fathers an additional three to five days paid leave. 

Probation Period  

The probation period in Switzerland is permissible up to three months. It is customary for employers to request this 3-month probation period. 

Using an international PEO/EOR solution to expand into Switzerland and hire staff compliantly    

If you are a business that is considering expanding into Switzerland or another country in Europe, Capital GES can help.

Capital GES can help your business expand into Switzerland without the need to immediately establish a corporate entity.

Our in-country experts will be able to help you navigate the different regulations and labour laws. As well as assist you with employing staff legally and compliantly in Switzerland in just a matter of a few days.

Contact Us

For further information, contact our European office on +41 32 732 9700 or email us at to see how we can help.  

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