There’s a lot of formality and etiquette involved in doing business under the Swiss banner. They’re a hardworking people who value honesty and responsibility. Of course, independence has historically been a big thing. The Swiss are proud of their reputation for saving money to provide future material wealth.
You should also be pretty punctual when it comes to meetings. Never arrive late, but don’t get there eagerly too early. Its bad form. Meetings are for getting business done and include limited small talk. The Swiss take business very seriously and do not appreciate jokes and humour in meetings. Modesty rules – no boasting about past achievements.
Pay in Switzerland, specifically in Zurich and Geneva, are among the highest in the world, across a variety of professions. Average monthly income in a typical Swiss household is CHF 8,797, which includes pension, interest, assets, and so on. It’s also a case of seniority in the very top earners. In the last 10 years, employers in both the Swiss public and private sectors have gone for adopted performance-related pay systems, but while Swiss employers are legally required to pay equal wages to both sexes, on average an adult female worker’s wages are less than those of their male counterparts. This rather chauvinistic trait holds true regardless of a woman’s qualifications or experience.
An independent and proud country, the Swiss work ethic majors on responsibility and truth
In November or December, salaries are normally reviewed – any pay raises taking effect on 1st January. Perhaps surprisingly, trade unions do exist in Switzerland with about a quarter of its workforce being in a union, but strikes are a rarity. Trade unions rarely engage in a strike in Switzerland. For those hiring in Switzerland, its recommended to put a robust employment contract in place setting out the terms of the employee’s compensation, benefits, and termination requirements. The letter of job offer and employment contract should both state the salary and any compensation amounts in Swiss Francs rather than a foreign currency.
For industrial workers, office personnel, technical personnel, and retail employees the standard working week runs to 45 hours. For all other types of employment, the limit is fixed at 50 hours. Having said that, the standard working hours depend on employer, specific job requirements, and the specific industry. Overtime is defined as the hours exceeding those agreed to in the employment contract. Overtime is typically paid at 125 percent of the normal rate, or time off in lieu.
Vacation Leave in Switzerland
Swiss law provides all employees with annual holiday paid leave – four weeks per year. In his first year of work for a company, an employer will be expected to pay a maximum of between one and three weeks of sickness pay to the employee – depending on Swiss canton rulings – but can ask for a doctor’s certificate for an absence of more than three consecutive days. After a year, the period for which a sick employee would be paid will depend on the Swiss canton applicable, length of service, and other conditions.
Maternity leave is a legal right in Switzerland. A new mother will be paid at 80 percent of her regular wage for 14 weeks after childbirth. The canton of Geneva differs however, extending this to 16 weeks. The mother is also protected against dismissal during the pregnancy and for 16 weeks after giving birth. Employers are also obligated to make reasonable accommodation for the needs of an expectant or new mother to ensure the continued good health of her and her baby. Whilst there’s no statutory paternity leave, new fathers may, at the discretion of their company, be permitted to take paid leave, anywhere from one day to five.
Probationary periods in Switzerland are typically between one and three months – dismissals are just 7 days’ notice. Employers can also issue notice, or by granting an indemnity in place of notice, whereby a contract can be terminated immediately. Redundancy is possible in Switzerland and employers have few obligations other than providing paid notice of 8.7 weeks to employees who’ve been employed for over 1 year, and 4.3 weeks for those employed less than 1 year. There is no severance pay required by law.
Of course, Switzerland is known throughout Europe and indeed worldwide for its high-quality medical and paramedic services. Switzerland spends more than 10 percent of its GDP on health, resulting in medical facilities having the latest technology, as well as one of the world’s lowest patient-to-doctor ratios. Health insurance is compulsory for all residents in Switzerland and covers the costs of medical treatment and hospitalisation. Residents are responsible for contacting insurance providers, since employers are not necessarily responsible for arranging coverage. In most cases, Swiss insurance authorities do not accept global health insurance even if the policy states that it covers medical care in Switzerland.
Agents of BRADFORD JACOBS are totally on the ball to make your Switzerland expansion processes painless and easy. We can help you hire your candidate of choice, handle HR matters and payroll, and ensure that you’re in compliance with local laws – all without the expense of setting up a branch office or subsidiary. Our Switzerland agents and our worldwide Employer of Record Platform is designed to provides you with piece of mind, allowing you to concentrate on running your business.
With BRADFORD JACOBS’ in-country legal experts and our experienced and trained staff, we can guide you smoothly through the many of complex laws and regulations of hiring staff in Switzerland. When negotiating terms of an employment contract and sending a job offer letter to an employee in Switzerland, it is a legal requirement to put a strong employment contract in place, in Switzerland as well as English, which sets out the terms of the employee’s compensation, benefits, and termination requirements. An offer letter and employment contract in Switzerland should always state the salary and any compensation amounts in Euro rather than a foreign currency.
Here’s some hugely attractive reasons you should use Bradford Jacobs’ agency services in Switzerland:
- You have a contractor overseas and you want to take them on full-time as a company employee.
- As they’re a contractor, your company is currently in a non-compliant relationship with them.
- Your company wants to invest in these resources and show your commitment to them by offering then full-time work under your company banner.
- The contractors are asking for the improved status afforded by full-time employment.
- You’re seeking cost-effective solutions in upgrading contractors to employee.
- Legal complications need to be avoided when converting contractors to employees.
- Avoid the costs and risk of maintaining a foreign corporate entity. You see that the compliance and financial perspective as it stands is too high in terms of investment and just does not tie-in with your long term goals.
- It needs to be done quickly. You’d like to hire today, but are in need of an interim solution while setting up your foreign entity.
Well, our single answer to all of these dilemmas is – no problem!
For companies wishing to hire employees in Switzerland, our expert advisors can walk you through the nuances of employment and hiring in the Switzerland – and indeed in every other European state. Within just 24 hours following your initial call to us, BRADFORD JACOBS will send you a customised proposal to match your exact specifications and requirements. You can have your employees up and running within a few days of the paperwork being signed and sealed.
Remember, whether foreign national expatriates or local national hires, BRADFORD JACOBS can assist with Swiss business visas, work permits, local payroll, taxes, and general employment support. Our services will drastically decrease your time to market, fully compliant and without the hassles and headaches.
If you’re considering engaging a PEO, we suggest you first check out what BRADFORD JACOBS Consulting can offer…
How it works
Our aim as the Employer of Record for your international employees is to provide specific payroll, HR and ‘in-country’ compliance services.
In the first instance, BRADFORD JACOBS professionals will consult with you to understand your specific requirements and timeframes and assess the best model to provide our services. As these are co-employer and employee arrangements, there will be some important conditions for you to consider so that the PEO model remains accurate, timely and – most importantly – compliant with the rules and regulations governing staff employment in a specific country.
The most important thing we do is protect our clients and their workforce – which makes BRADFORD JACOBS the reliable partner you would want to work with.
PEO in Switzerland
BRADFORD JACOBS Consulting provides employer of record services for clients that want to hire employees and run payroll without first establishing a branch office or subsidiary say, as an example, in Switzerland. Your candidate is hired via BRADFORD JACOBS agencies in Switzerland in accordance with local labor laws and can be set up within a few days. One of our experts is assigned to work with your team, representing your company exactly as if he or she were your employee and working to meet your requirements in that country.
Our PEO service enables clients to run payroll in Switzerland while HR services, tax, and compliance management matters are lifted from their shoulders onto ours. As global PEO professionals, we manage employment contract best practices, as well as severance issues and even termination if required. We also keep you up to date of any changes to local employment laws in Switzerland.
Establishing a branch office or subsidiary in Switzerland to engage a small team is time consuming, expensive and complex. Swiss labor law has strong worker protections, requiring great attention to detail and an understanding of local best practices. Our global partners make it problem-free and an easy exercise to expand into Switzerland. We can help you hire your candidate of choice, handle HR matters and payroll, and ensure that you’re in compliance with local laws – all without the burden of setting up a Swiss branch office or subsidiary outfit.
Features and Benefits
- Solutions available for all nationals.
- Employment and business support provided by local professional partners.
- AUG license to lease employees to Swiss based clients.
- Contractors benefit from the highest legitimate retention through the use of tax and social security treaties, expatriate tax regimes, pension schemes, double taxation agreements and tax claimable expenses.
- Value for money and flexible fees – inclusive of Switzerland tax return and expenses claims. These are charged only when the contractor is starts working. If contractors wish to use their own accountants to file income tax returns, we pay their accountants’ fees up to the amount charged by our own accountant.
- EUR 5,000,000 cover for employers’ and business liabilities.
- Single point of contact, so contractors can focus on their job.
- Extensive expertise in Switzerland tax and social security issues.
For the Employer
- Fast international employee engagement solution.
- Controls operating budgets as all employer costs are provided at the outset to ensure full transparency.
- Time efficient with minimal paperwork required compared to the red tape often encountered when setting up your corporate entity.
- Professional assistance with employment and compliance matters.
- Reduced legal and accounting costs.
- All statutory professional insurances are provided as part of the BRADFORD JACOBS service.
For the Employee
- Compliant local employment contract.
- Payroll on-time and 100 percent accurate.
- Professional HR assistance with employment related enquiries.
- Up-to-date information on tax regulations and compliance.
Contract of Employment
- Each worker is issued with a comprehensive contract of employment in dual language – in this example case, Switzerland and English.
- An overview of the statutory provisions in Switzerland will be made available to you prior to contract offer. BRADFORD JACOBS will appraise you of all the salient in-territory HR rules to ensure you have a thorough understanding of Switzerland laws and protocols.
- In conjunction with in-country expert advisors, BRADFORD JACOBS will recommend where these provisions can easily be enhanced enabling you to provide a fully competitive salary and benefits package for all your employees.
- Salary, commissions/bonuses and all benefits are agreed with the ‘workside’ employer and are contractually included.
- Fully managed service to assist with routine HR tasks such as absence management and expense processing.
- Guidance on in-territory compliance requirements – such as any legal obligation to record time and overtime provisions.
- Ad-hoc support available around the clock to support you when you need it most in the event of any disciplinary, grievance or other HR matters requiring urgent attention.
- Regular updates provided and advice available to ensure that you are made aware of not only significant changes to existing laws but also to ensure ongoing compliance with all aspects of Switzerland employment law.
- BRADFORD JACOBS will bring any issues to your early attention and, where appropriate, work with you to ensure internal policies and handbooks are updated accordingly.
- Accident insurance covering occupational accidents, commuting accidents, and occupational diseases as required by Switzerland law is provided as standard.
Payroll & Settlement
- Fully compliant international payroll funding process ensuring that employees and competent authorities are paid on time, electronically into the relevant bank accounts
- Statutory filing, submissions and end of year reporting completed as standard.
- Liability payments made in line with local territory requirements to the respective competent authorities well in advance of deadlines.
- Staff payments made to employees on a fixed weekly/bi-weekly/or monthly basis as required in local currency.
- Electronic pay slips provided to employees.
- We hope that you enjoy a long and mutually beneficial relationship with all your employees. If your employee decides to move on, however, you can rest assured that all leaving documentation required by him or her will be issued efficiently. According to the labor law of Switzerland, your employees will be at risk of having their work permit revoked if they (i) do not perform the works for which they are employed and (ii) lose vital qualifications that are required to execute the job.
- Our BRADFORD JACOBS’ employment solutions helps you have your mobile workforce officially employed in Switzerland by our company instead of setting up your own legal entity there. You just choose the right candidate that you need to have working for you in Switzerland and then leave it to us to handle all the rest – fast and hassle-free.
Once the contractor registers with us, we take care of all work-related permits and registration formalities. He or she sends us completed time sheets and any approved expenses. We invoice the end client. When the invoice is settled, we deduct all contributions due to the Swiss authorities and transfer the remaining salary into the contractor’s bank of choice.
Finally, at the end of the financial year, we prepare the year-end accounts and, at the end of the assignment, we de-register the contractor.
We appreciate each situation and business is different. That is why BRADFORD JACOBS offers a consultative and bespoke solution to every client. Personalised job specifications, job offers and benefits packages are all agreed with you during the set-up process. We know one size does not fit all and rest assured we can accommodate all bespoke requirements.
Sounds good? Then do contact us to arrange an initial Professional Employer Organisation consultation with our team.