SWITZERLAND: Annual Update – Expected labour law changes in 2016

Working time

New working-time record regulations: With effect from January 1, 2016 new rules have been introduced to reduce the administrative burden of time recording requirements for certain categories of employees.

Senior managers with substantive working-time autonomy and an annual salary of more than CHF 120,000 will be exempt provided that a collective bargaining agreement exists and the affected senior manager has provided written consent.

For employees with relative working-time autonomy of up to 25%, records will be limited to the recording of daily and weekly working times, provided that affected employees do not opt out.

For all other categories of employees, the existing rather detailed working-time record requirements remain in place.
Action required:
1) Employers should identify those employees who are eligible for exemptions or limitations of working-time recording and where possible obtain their consent to adjust the time recording requirements.
2) Employers should ensure that record-keeping tools are in place for the other categories of employees, in order to avoid any sanctions.

Wage inequality

Draft legislation for measures against pay inequality: Consultation is currently underway for new rules by which Swiss employers with 50 or more employees will have conduct regular pay analysis (every 4 years) to ensure that there is no discrimination between men and women and appoint a reviewer to make sure the analysis is properly conducted. The consultation process for this new law ends on March 3, 2016.
Action required: Employers who could be affected should ensure that all data is available to conduct the analysis if the new legislation is enacted.


Restrictions on EU immigration: The Swiss Federal Council decided on December 4, 2015 to apply a safeguard clause in order to control the immigration of persons covered by the agreement on the free movement of persons with the European Union (EU).
Switzerland first aims to seek a mutually acceptable solution with the EU. Failing that, a unilateral safeguard clause could be adopted, allowing Switzerland to re-introduce quotas for EU-AELE workers if a certain threshold is reached. The legislative process begins in March 2016 and must end by February 2017.
Action required: The quotas to be introduced should only apply to future permit applications. Therefore, employers who intend to hire EU-Workers should do so before February 2017, as it may become more difficult to obtain work permits after that date.