An employment contract consists in an agreement between two parties who convene that one of them will provide work to the other against payment. This employment relationship implies a set of rights and obligations for each party. Those include, for example, the employees’ obligation to provide the expected work and their right to paid vacation, or the employer’s obligation to pay the expected wages and social insurances contributions, and to reimburse professional expenses.
The employment contract is based on the following elements:
At the end of the selection process, when all selection / recruitment interviews (guidelines) have been conducted and the final hiring decision has been made, an employment contract is issued. This agreement is binding for both parties and necessarily includes:
Moreover, one or several of the following clauses may be added to the employment contract:
It is important for employers to remember that the selected candidates will only be able to leave their former job when they receive their new employment contract. A quick confirmation of the new employee’s appointment indeed attests to the quality and professionalism of the company's HR Department; it clearly is an integral part of the company's employer branding strategy (guidelines).
Here you will find an individual employment contract (sample), as well as standard confidentiality, professional secrecy and non-compete clauses (sample). In order to gain time, you may send two signed copies of the employment contract to the new employee per mail (one of which will have to be returned withe the employee's signature). In this case, you will need to provide a confirmation of employment letter (sample) with a few instructions.
NOTICE TO JOB CANDIDATES
We strongly advise all candidates to only resign from their current occupation once they hold a signed copy of their new employment contract in their hands, whether they are taking part in a recruitment process or an internal mobility program.
For positions with high salary levels, it is also extremely important to be aware that medical tests can cause the employment contract to be cancelled, should a risk of severe illness be detected. The company’s private insurance policies (pension fund, etc.) can indeed oppose to covering employees who present a significant risk of illness. This may, in turn, lead the company to go back on its decision to hire the candidate. We thus strongly encourage managers to ask that all medical tests be conducted before the probationary period, so as not to resign from their former position before their test results are known.
In Swiss Law, the main regulations of the employment relationship are contained in the Code of Obligations (Art. 319-362) and the Resolutions and Reports of the Swiss Federal Council, as well as the Federal Law of September 28th 1956 – which allows for the extension of the scope of application of Collective Labor Agreements (CLA) – and the Federal Law of February 12th 1949 – regarding the establishment of Conciliation Authorities for the settlement of collective labor disputes. Some issues are also dealt with through jurisprudence. The main employment protection measures may be found in the following Laws:
We also invite you to refer to our Swiss employment contract (Labor Law) rubric in which some practical issues pertaining to the management of the employment relationship in Switzerland are specifically discussed.