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Employment Conditions

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Employment conditions (Arbeitreglement, reglement de travail) in Switzerland are largely dependent on cantonal laws, an employee's contract, and an employer's general terms. In general, foreigners are employed under the same working conditions as Swiss citizens. This usually means that salaries, fringe benefits and working conditions are among the best in the world. Employees hired to work in Switzerland by foreign (non-Swiss) companies and organisations may be offered even better terms and conditions (including higher salaries) than those provided by Swiss employers.

In certain industries there are General Labour Agreements (GLAs), which is a written convention between one or more employers or employers' associations and trade unions. It contains provisions on relations between employers and employees as well as provisions which are directed at the contracting parties of the GLA, such as a minimum wage.

[Hampshire, David. (2015). Employment Conditions. In Living and Working in Switzerland (15th ed., p. 33). Bath: Survival Books.]

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Employment Contracts

Under Swiss law a contract exists as soon as you undertake a job for which you expect to be paid. For many Swiss, their word is their bond (in mountain areas, contracts are often oral and sealed by a handshake); however, even if you're employed only part-time, you should insist on a written contract. You and your employer are obliged to abide by the rules and regulations set out in the Swiss law of obligation (Schweizerisches Obligationenrecht, Droit d'obligation suisse), a copy of which can be purchased from most bookshops.

Salary and Benefits

Your salary (Salär/Gehalt, salaire) is stated in your contract, where salary reviews, planned increases and cost of living rises may also be covered. Only general points, such as the payment of your salary into a bank account and the date of salary payments, are usually included in an employer's general terms. If the salary payment day varies each month, your employer may provide you with a list of payment dates. Salaries are usually paid earlier in December.