“Am I entitled to a written employment contract?”
“Orally, we had agreed otherwise. What counts?”
We advise our clients in all employment law matters, and we clarify any questions they may have related to their employment contract.
We also check or draft (model) employment contracts, staff regulations, supplements, addenda, and other agreements between employers and employees.Contact us
“I resigned at the end of October. Is the 13th month’s pay due?”
“Is this bonus part of my salary?”
We advise both employers and employees on all matters relating to salaries, bonuses, and profit-and-performance-related remuneration.Contact us
“In case of termination, am I entitled to be released from my duties or do I have to serve the full period of notice?”
“Our employee became ill during the release from his duties (garden leave). What are the rules in this situation?”
By releasing an employee from his or her duties (garden leave), the employer waives the employee’s duty to work. The employer often grants the employee time off after giving notice of termination in order to prevent contact with customers and business partners until the employment relationship has ceased. In many cases, the following issues must be regulated when an employee is put on garden leave:
- Duties during the release from his/her duties (e.g. availability)
- Handover of ongoing work and pending issues
- Return of documents and objects
- Deletion and transmission of data
- Salary and bonus entitlements
- Vacation entitlement and overtime
- Confidentiality obligations
We will be happy to answer your questions about garden leave and to support you (e.g., with the preparation of respective declarations and agreements or in disputes in this matter).Contact us
We draft and revise the following regulations for employers:
- Personnel regulations/employee handbook/general terms of employment
- Employee stock option plans
- Working time regulations
- Bonus regulations
- Vehicle regulations
- IT usage regulations
- Social media regulations
- Regulations for on-call service
- Expenses regulations
- Guidelines on sexual harassment
“My employer has set up new cameras on the business premises. Is he allowed to do that?”
“Does this information belong in the personnel file?”
With the increasing digitalization of work processes, the topic of data protection is becoming ever more important in the employment relationship.
We advise employers and employees on all data protection issues. We lead litigation and conduct proceedings concerning data protection and personality rights, and we advise companies on the implementation of data protection both under Swiss data protection law and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
We have specific expertise in the following data protection issues:
- Processing of personal data in the employment relationship
- Privacy and home office
- Data protection declarations, regulations, and contracts
- Data transfer abroad and to third parties
- Keeping the personnel file
- Requests for information and provision of information/inspection of personnel files
- Screening of applicants
- Workplace monitoring
“What is the deadline to notify of a short stay?”
“An employee of our foreign subsidiary has to work for a project at Swiss headquarters for six months.”
Employee mobility is particularly important in international companies. We support you in planning and implementing long-term assignments or secondments of foreign employees to Switzerland. We help you find and implement a suitable mobility model, and we prepare the necessary contractual documents and applications for work and residence permits.
We also advise and represent individuals who wish to pursue self-employment in Switzerland.Contact us
“What are our employees’ mandatory contributions?”
“Should we take out daily sickness benefits insurance?”
“As an employer, when can I introduce short-term work?”
“Were the hiring days justified? If not, what can I do about it?”
The Swiss social security system is comprehensive and offers broad protection against the various dangers and risks of (working) life. However, it is not always easy to keep track of the numerous insurance plans and to assess who is subject to which insurance and when, or what contribution and benefit obligations exist.
We advise employers, employees, and self-employed persons on all legal issues in the following insurance plans, and we represent you before the authorities and in court:
- Old-age, survivors, and invalidity pension plans (AHV/IV)
- Accident insurance (UVG)
- Unemployment insurance (ALV)
- Income replacement/maternity compensation (EO)
- Family allowances
Our advice also covers issues relating to daily sickness benefit insurance. Although such insurance is not mandatory for employers to take out, many employers use it to protect themselves against the financial risk resulting from the statutory obligation for sick pay.Contact us
“My employer has requested that I update my LinkedIn profile.”
“The employee spends half the day on the smartphone, using social media.”
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing, and Tiktok are an integral part of many people’s everyday lives. The use of social media, whether in the workplace or during leisure time, can affect work and cause conflicts.
From an employment law perspective, the following problems often arise in regard to social media:
- Use of social media during working hours
- Private use: what is permitted and what can be regulated
- Cyber bullying, slander, and libel
- Reputation risks and protection of business secrets
- Employee monitoring
- Sanctioning instruction violations
We have in-depth knowledge of social media and can provide you with comprehensive advice on all related questions. Furthermore, we draw up social media guidelines tailored to employers’ needs.
“Am I subject to the CEC?”
“What deductions are permitted under the CEC?”
In 2018, some 2,115,300 employees in Switzerland became subject to a collective working agreement. However, it is not uncommon for employees to be unaware that they are subject to a CEC and which provisions of a CEC apply to them.
The interaction between a CEC and the applicable employment contract agreements can pose problems for employers as well.
We advise our clients on all legal questions concerning association and company CECs as well as standard employment contracts (NAV). We have specific expertise in the three most important CECs: the CEC for personnel leasing, the CEC for the hotel and restaurant industry (L-GAV), and the CEC for the construction industry.Contact us
“Was I not promoted just because I’m a woman?”
Employees must not be directly or indirectly discriminated against on the basis of sex. Discrimination based on other characteristics, such as sexual orientation, origin, appearance, or religion, is also unacceptable.
We are at your side if you are affected by discrimination. We identify possible ways to defend yourself in such a situation, and we advise your of your legal rights.
To employers, we indicate possible structures to prevent discrimination in the workplace and explain how to proceed in suspected cases. We also advise employers on the measures to take under the Equal Opportunities Act to prevent sexual harassment.Contact us
“Having been late for work twice, I was told not to come back.”
“The employee is on sabbatical, but we can’t continue the employment relationship.”
“Can I be terminated by e-mail or SMS?”
“What does a change of notice mean?”
A termination notice is often a distressing event. We can help you if you have lost your job or if you are in danger of being fired, and find out what you are entitled to.
For employers, dismissals are often not easy situations. Due to a dismissal’s irrevocability and important legal consequences, it is advisable to obtain legal advice before discussing it, to make sure you have met all requirements. We have extensive experience and will be happy to help you.
The following legal topics are regularly of interest in termination cases:
- Notices of change: Requirements and points to be observed
- Employer certificate
- Termination of employment before taking up employment
- Implementation: content, formal requirements, and delivery of notices
- Amicable employment termination and termination agreements
- Vacation and time credits
- Release from work (garden leave)
- Editing and checking of termination letters and reasons for termination
- Protected period
- Insurance law issues
- Conditions for termination without notice
“My former employer won’t give me a reference. What can I do?”
“The employee was never on time. Should I mention this in the reference?”
References are still very important in the (Swiss) job market. Incorrectly written or untrue references can make it difficult for the employee to find a new job. Employers who issue a false or incomplete certificate may face liability issues.
Due to different interests, conflicts in connection with job references are frequent. We advise and support you especially in the following situations:
- The employer does not issue a job reference.
- You are uncertain whether the certificate is well-formulated and complete.
- The certificate is incorrect and contains incorrect data, spelling mistakes, or no signature.
- You have been issued an untrue or incomplete certificate of employment. This may be the case, for example, if the employer wrongly certifies poor performance or inappropriate conduct or does not mention certain activities that you performed.
- You would like to know which points you, as an employer, must mention in the certificate or, conversely, which points you may not mention.
“I was fired. May I begin a new job?”
“The fired sales rep keeps visiting our clients. What can we do?”
Non-competition clauses can be validly agreed only within narrow legal limits. We will be pleased to provide you with contract clauses tailored to your needs or to check existing clauses for their validity and enforceability. We will also advise you on all other questions concerning restrictions on competition, such as:
- How to act against unauthorised enticement of customers
- Whether a penalty is due
- Whether and how the courts can prohibit a competing activity
- Assessment of whether you can work for a particular employer
“What can I do if I’ve been graded too low?”
“In our municipality, we need to revise the staff regulations and the corresponding implementing provisions.”
Especially in the field of public personnel law, numerous complex community and employee questions arise. We will be happy to provide you with competent support.Contact us
“We would like to deploy a team to a client for a longer period. Do we need a permit?”
“What rights do I have as a temporary employee?”
Private employment agencies and personnel hire (temporary work and loaned work) are regulated by law in Switzerland. An official permit is required.
We advise employers who place or lend personnel, companies borrowing personneland employees who are placed or lended on all questions concerning employment placement and personnel leasing. In addition, we take on representation in approval and other official and court proceedings.
We have extensive expertise in the field of temporary work and the legal issues related to this kind of work. We advise you specifically on all questions concerning the collective employment contract for personnel leasing.Contact us
“Can I quit while I’m on assignment abroad?”
“How is the seconded employee to be insured?”
“Who bears the moving costs?”
Even in our globalized and networked world, many companies still have to temporarily relocate their employees to another location, Group company, or customer. Before a posting abroad, a whole range of relevant legal issues should be clarified in detail. Wewould be happy to advise you regarding these issues, in particular the following:
- (Social) insurance coverage abroad
- The tax situation in Switzerland and abroad
- Work and residence permits
- Official notification requirements
- Specific obligations under employment law
- Preparation of the necessary contracts and documents
We also support our clients in all matters relating to assignments in Switzerland, such as:
- Registration procedures
- Minimum working and wage conditions (wages, expenses, accommodation, occupational safety, and insurance)
- Bogus self-employment
- Penalties for infringements
- Preparation of the necessary contracts and documents
“After maternity leave, I was transferred to another department.”
“Am I entitled to work on a lighter schedule after maternity leave?”
Unfortunately, all too often the balance between work and family life leads to legal problems.
We advise mothers and fathers on all legal questions concerning family planning and working life. We show companies possible measures with which they can improve the compatibility of work and family life at a profit, as well as which legal barriers they have to observe.Contact us
“Suddenly, money was missing from the cash register.”
“Something seems to be wrong with the expense report.”
Companies commonly investigate certain incidents or suspicions. Before taking disciplinary action or filing a criminal complaint, it is advisable to determine discreetly and confidentially whether someone is responsible for misconduct.
During an internal investigation, numerous questions from various areas of law confront company managers with data protection being of particular importance. The involvement of a trustworthy partner is therefore essential in many cases.
We conduct internal investigations for our clients and provide them with independent and reliable investigation results. We also advise employees involved in internal investigations and inform them about their rights and obligations in such proceedings.Contact us
“We learned of the company closure from the media.”
“We will have to cut many jobs over the next few months. Is this a mass layoff?”
If several unconnected notices of termination are issued in a company within 30 days, this may constitute a mass dismissal in the sense of the Swiss Code of Obligations, which then stipulates special employer obligations.
Mass dismissals often occur in connection with the closure of a business due to bankruptcy, debt deferral, or restructuring.
It is advisable to obtain sound legal advice in connection with the dismissal of several employees, particularly about the following points:
- Applicability of the regulations on mass dismissal or the notification requirements under the Employment Agency Act
- Information and consultation of the employees or their representatives
- Obligations towards the cantonal employment office
- Preparation and negotiation of a social plan
Consciously or unconsciously, we all enter into contracts every day: contracts of sale, contracts for work, orders, rental contracts, general terms of business, etc.
We support you both before and after the conclusion of any contract, including during the negotiations, during the drafting and formulation of the contract, and also during the execution or termination of a contract.
We analyze existing contracts and show you possibilities for improvement, and we help you to implement them vis-à-vis the other contracting party.Contact us
“The previous tenant had a lower rent. How can I contest the initial rent?”
“My lease was canceled. What can I do about it?”
“One of my tenants has a dispute with the neighbor because he smokes cigars for several hours every evening. What can I do?”
We support both tenants and landlords in all questions related to the handling of rented apartments.
We will explain to you which procedures apply in your specific case and what costs you will incur regarding regular terminations, actions for eviction, terminations for owner use, rent increases, extensions, and drafting or reviewing rental contracts.Contact us
Corporate and commercial law
“How do we summon the annual general meeting (AGM)?”
“How can the AGM be conducted in writing or electronically?”
“Can we sign this agreement as it stands? What are the legal risks?”
We advise and support you in all corporate and commercial law matters concerning your company. As your outsourced legal department, we can provide you with comprehensive advice in all matters related to your company, from its constitution and capital increase and restructuring to succession planning. Our consulting services cover all forms of business and organization under private law, such as the stock corporation, the private limited company, the simple partnership, the association, and the foundation.
We attach particular emphasis on the increasingly important areas of corporate governance and compliance. We help you to create sustainable organizational structures that meet the ever-increasing legal requirements, taking your individual needs into account.
We also take over the classic ‘corporate housekeeping’ for you and your company. We prepare the necessary documentation for the board of directors, prepare general meetings, make changes in the commercial register (e.g. board members, management members, signatory powers, addresses, etc.) and manage the registers of shareholders and beneficial owners.
In the area of commercial law, we advise you in the planning and preparation of transactions, support you in their negotiation and implementation, and prepare the necessary legal documents (namely, the following types of contracts):
- Purchase contracts and general terms and conditions of business (GTCs)
- Distribution, franchise, and agency agreements
- Rental and service contracts
- Cooperation and consulting agreements
- Framework agreements
- Licensing contracts
- Shareholder agreements and partnership agreements/joint ventures
“What and how much is the statutory quota?”
“What is a free quota?”
“How can I maximize my partner’s benefit in the event of my death?”
“Can I disinherit someone?”
“We have a dispute. How do we split the inheritance?”
“When my grandmother changed her will, she was not of sound mind.”
The death of a loved one is an emotional event, and dealing with it rationally is often difficult. As an objective third party at your side, a lawyer can deal with inheritance disputes in an impartial and thoughtful manner.
We accompany and advise you in all matters of inheritance law. In a solution-oriented manner, we stand up for you out of court and—if necessary—before the competent courts and authorities.
It always makes sense to deal with the necessary dispositions (namely, a will), at an early stage. We support you in your specific situation, to implement your wishes and plans in accordance with the law.Contact us
Debt enforcement and bankruptcy law
“I’m entitled to money, but my debtor won’t pay. What can I do?”
“My debtor’s company went bankrupt, but the debtor transferred money or goods to his private property shortly prior or gave presents to his relatives. What can I do?”
“I am subject to legal proceedings after having filed an objection against debt enforcement. How do I react?”
“What should I do if my stock corporation, my private limited liability company, or sole proprietorship is subject to debt enforcement proceedings?”
“The company that owes me money is based abroad, but I know that vehicles they own are located in Switzerland. Can I have them seized?”
If your debtor does not pay and a reminder does not lead to success, you can sue him for nonpayment.
If the debtor files an objection against debt enforcement, you must prove that your claim is justified in the so-called “Rechtsöffnungsverfahren,” or in normal civil proceedings. We will gladly support you in this process. Also, in debt collection proceedings and especially in subsequent bankruptcy proceedings, debtors and creditors are faced with numerous complex legal questions on which we can advise you as we act on your behalf in the proceedings.
As a debtor, are you confronted with a debt enforcement procedure with which you do not agree in whole or in part? File an objection without delay and contact a lawyer immediately.Contact us
“How and with what cost risk can I enforce my claim?”
“Is it worthwhile to enter into a settlement agreement?”
“I have been summoned to arbitration; what should I do?”
We are at your side as a reliable partner if you must enforce your rights through legal proceedings or if you are confronted with a lawsuit.
The best possible solution to conflict situations requires a sober assessment of legal opportunities and risks. Beyond that, we also take psychological and tactical considerations into account when defining and implementing the best strategy for you to enforce or defend your interests in a timely and cost-efficient manner. We also attach great importance to questions regarding the actual enforceability of your claims from the outset.
Official and legal proceedings are often financially and psychologically burdensome for those involved. As your trusted lawyers, we will do everything we can to help you. We will show you the cost risks and explain the proceedings and the next steps in comprehensible terms.
Representation in court and administrative proceedings
We represent you in all proceedings and before all state courts and authorities in Switzerland. We have in-depth specialist knowledge and extensive experience in successfully conducting litigation before all courts, including the Federal Criminal Court and the Federal Supreme Court, which we know from both a legal and a judicial perspective.
We have particularly rich experience in the following areas:
- Representation of employers and employees in employment law disputes
- General commercial and civil law disputes before ordinary courts and commercial courts, at both the cantonal and federal level
- Debt enforcement and insolvency proceedings
- International enforcement of judgments and arbitration decisions
- Representation of injured parties, accused persons, and witnesses in proceedings under commercial criminal law
- Enforcement and compliance
- Precautionary measures
Amicable settlement of disputes
In many disputes, it is sensible for both parties to find an amicable solution and thus avoid the initiation or continuation of long and expensive litigation. With the necessary assertiveness and tact, we will conduct negotiations on your behalf to resolve the dispute and discuss the terms of an advantageous settlement agreement.Contact us
Private international law (conflict of laws)
We advise and represent clients on a variety of international matters.
Due to increasing globalization, the applicability of Swiss or foreign law, the validity of choice of law clauses in favor of a particular legal system, the competent jurisdiction in an international context, or the possibilities of enforcement abroad are more and more relevant. In the field of commercial and business law, international dimensions can be usefully exploited for contract drafting. Here, we take over the drafting of practical contracts, articles of association, or general terms and conditions, which are safe in all respects. Aspects of international law are also of particular importance for sales and manufacturing contracts, for marriage and inheritance contracts, and in regard to employment law.
We speak German, English, French, Spanish, and Italian.Contact us
“I was summoned for questioning as a defendant. Do I need a criminal lawyer?”
“I have been reported to the authorities. How should I react?”
You have the right to remain silent; use this right and hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
The earlier a lawyer is involved in the matter, the more effectively that lawyer can full explore your options.
“An employee may have embezzled funds. What is the best course of action?”
“Our HR department ignored an obligation to notify. Have we made ourselves liable to prosecution?”
Criminal provisions are not only found in the penal code, but also in a host of other laws and decrees. Misconduct under civil and administrative law can therefore unexpectedly become criminally relevant. In view of the high level of regulation in Switzerland, it is becoming increasingly necessary to meet each and every requirement for the dutiful performance of business and for the organisation of a company.
Criminal proceedings are often burdensome for the parties involved. With our experience and expertise, we provide defendants, injured parties, and victims with the necessary guidance, and we help them to comprehensively and optimally protect their interests in criminal proceedings. We represent individuals, corporate bodies, and companies in all criminal and administrative criminal proceedings, with a focus on white-collar crime and corporate and property criminal law. We support you throughout the entire course of the proceedings—vis–à-vis both the police and the public prosecutor’s office—during the investigations and in court during the primary and appeal proceedings.
Our consulting practice also extends to the conducting of internal investigations. Depending on the circumstances, it may be more appropriate in cases of suspected company misconduct to first clarify whether or not there has been any criminally relevant misconduct without involving criminal prosecution authorities from the outset.
We provide you with an objective overview, and together we clarify which goals we can realistically pursue.
Further information on criminal proceedings and in particular on summary penalty orders can be found on our website strafbefehl-info.ch.Contact us
“I had a traffic accident. Who will compensate me for the damage?”
We support you in the clarification of liability claims, in cases of damage from contract (e.g. medical liability), of non-contractual liability (e.g. in a traffic accident), and of state liability.Contact us
Real estate law
“My neighbor is blocking my building project with an unfounded objection. What is the best way to proceed?”
“The total contractor exceeded the agreed cost ceiling. Do I have to pay the additional costs?”
We advise and represent private individuals and SMEs in all matters of building and planning law, whether as a builder or as a contractor. This includes, for example, spatial planning issues, questions concerning land purchase contracts, defects in work, contractor’s liens and all types of building permits. We work with you to find and develop strategies for planning, building and operating your construction projects.Contact us
Road traffic law
“I was driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs and my driving licence was revoked on the spot. What next?”
Even if the facts of a case of driving under the influence of drugs often seem clear, especially if the driver was caught in the act, legal intervention can have a significant influence on the punishment and in particular on the duration of the suspension of the driver’s licence.
Advice: It is therefore advisable to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
“I work as a professional driver and I am threatened with having my driving licence revoked. What can I do?”
We can support you in keeping the time without a driving licence as short as possible.
“How does a traffic medical assessment work and what do I have to look out for?”
We have a lot of experience in dealing with experts and can prepare you for these interviews in the best possible way.
For more information on road traffic proceedings, criminal proceedings and the significance of penalty orders, please visit our website at www.strafbefehl-info.ch.Contact us