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Global employment briefing: Switzerland, June 2016

  • Switzerland
  • Employment law


The General Applicability of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for Staff Leasing (Temporary Agency Workers) is modified and extended

In March, 2016, the Federal Council extended the general applicability of the Collective Bargaining Agreement regarding Staff Leasing (CBA) until 31 December 2018. In so doing, however, the Council responded to calls to reduce the scope of application of the CBA to businesses engaged mainly in staff leasing.

The changes introduced from 29 March 2016, modify the operational scope of the CBA by removing former requirements that certain businesses are legally insured with the public Swiss national accident insurance (SUVA) (in class 70C pursuant to Article 66 of the Swiss Accident Insurance Act) and generate a wage total of at least CHF 1.2 Million per calendar year through staff leasing. Importantly, the general application of the CBA has been reduced to businesses primarily engaged in staff leasing and which hold a federal or cantonal permit for employment services according to the Swiss Recruitment and Staff Leasing Act.

These recent changes remedy a previously unsatisfactory situation, whereby the application of the CBA to businesses, regardless of their key activities, caused legal uncertainty, particularly in the area of long-term projects involving on-site work for a customer and integration into the client’s organisation. This uncertainty affected particularly ICT businesses, for which staff leasing is an indispensable requirement at times.

Despite the above relaxation of the operational scope of the CBA, its extension until 31 December 2018 is combined with new provisions which are now generally applicable. This also means more staff leasing arrangements will be brought within its scope affecting, for example, provisions concerning termination. CBA provides that employment during a trial period can be terminated at any time upon two days’ notice. After expiration of the trial period, indefinite employment relationships can be terminated with two work days’ during the first three months of employment; seven days’ notice during the fourth to sixth month of employment and, thereafter, with one month’s notice. These notice periods apply only to temporary staff leasing.