Littler Global Guide - Switzerland - Q1 2020

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

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New Statute of Limitations: Personal Injury or Death Claims

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Ueli Sommer, Partner - Walder Wyss Ltd.

On January 1, 2020, a revised statute of limitations has come into force in Switzerland. While the limitation period for claims based on employment law generally has not changed (it still amounts to five or ten years depending on the specific grounds of the claim), in cases of death or bodily injury, the new article 128a of the Swiss Code of Obligations determines a deviating limitation period. Claims to damages and claims resulting from death or bodily injury now become barred by limitation three years from the moment in which the person suffering it has become aware of it (relative) and the latest, 20 years from the day, on which the harmful conduct took place (absolute). This new clause under the Code of Obligation would cover employees who many years later discover that their work environment damaged their health (e.g., employees exposed to ionizing radiation or asbestos victims).

Wage Equality: New Obligation to Perform Equality Analysis for Certain Employers

Upcoming Deadline for Legal Compliance

Author: Ueli Sommer, Partner - Walder Wyss Ltd.

On July 1, 2020, a law amendment on gender pay equality will become effective in Switzerland. Companies employing 100 or more employees will be obliged conduct a so-called “internal analysis of wage equality.” The analysis must be done for the year concerned, and must be implemented for the first time for the period between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. If the employer is compliant with wage equality for the respective period (coefficient of wage difference not bigger than 5% for comparable employees amongst other factors), no further analysis is required. If the employer is noncompliant with the wage equality requirement based on the first analysis, the analysis must be repeated every four years. However, there are no stipulated penalties in case of a negative result or a company failing to perform the analysis at all. A negative outcome in the analysis, as well as not implementing the analysis at all, might have an impact in an individual wage discrimination lawsuit and could lead to bad publicity and reputation damages.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.