Littler Global Guide - Switzerland - Q4 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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Amendment to Swiss Labor Act Clarifies Definition of Working Time

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Ueli Sommer, Partner and Head of Employment – Walder Wyss, Ltd.

On November 1, 2020, the revised Ordinance 1 to the Swiss Labor Act (the Ordinance) entered into force. Among other amendments, the Ordinance regulates working time in connection with cross-border business trips. Specifically, it now clearly states that the time spent by the employee on Swiss territory for the outward and return journey is working time, whereas the time usually spent to commute from the employee’s home to the place of work does not qualify as working time, and the respective amount may thus be deducted from travel time. Due to the limited applicability of Swiss legislation outside of Swiss territory, the time spent by an employee on foreign territory (e.g., air travel, transfer, hotel) is not part of the regulation and the parties may conclude an individual agreement in this regard. For employers it is, therefore, recommended to amend working time / staff regulations accordingly.

Federal Supreme Court Rules on Extent of Employee’s Right to Request Information Under the FDPA

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Ueli Sommer, Partner and Head of Employment – Walder Wyss, Ltd.

On November 18, 2020, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court clarified its previous case law on information requests of individuals under the Federal Data Protection Act (FDPA). Under article 8 of the FDPA, any person may request information from the owner of a data file as to whether data concerning them is being processed. In employment matters, the information usually is provided with handing out a copy of the personnel file to the employee.

The recent decision of the Supreme Court has clarified that the individual may be exercising his or her right to information in breach of data protection law if the sole purpose of the information request is to clarify litigation prospects or to obtain evidence to prepare a court dispute (so called fishing expedition). As such, requests in accordance with the decision of the Federal Supreme Court now may be considered as an abuse of rights. Several respective requests of employees are expected to be rejected in the future.

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.