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Switzerland Leave Laws

Table Of Contents


These are the statutory holidays observed in Switzerland:

  • New Year’s Day – 1st January
  • Ascension Day – 40 days after the Easter
  • Swiss National Day – 1st August
  • Christmas Day – 25th December

All other public holidays are decided on a cantonal basis, with each canton being able to decide whether or not to grant a holiday on these days.


PTO (Paid Time Off)

  • Vacation/Annual Paid Leave

The employer must grant employees at least four weeks of vacations per year and at least five weeks to employees up to the age of 20 years.

During the vacation, the employer must continue to pay wages, except where the worker performs work for a third party during her/his vacations. 

  • Rollovers and payout of unused hours

  • Use-it-or-lose-it policy Not specified by law

  • PTO payout at the termination

Vacation leave entitlement cannot be converted into money compensation or other benefits.

Maternity Leave, Child Raising Leave, Parental Leave

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to up to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave following the child’s birth. Some cantons provide for a longer period of maternity leave. 

Employers mustn’t terminate an employment relationship during pregnancy and during a period of 16 weeks following the birth. Employees mustn’t work during the period of eight weeks following the birth and they are only required to work during the additional period of eight weeks if they agree to do so.

Paternity Leave

On September 27, 2020, voters approved a parliamentary initiative that introduces two weeks of paid paternity leave.

The amendment provides that the legal father has a right to two weeks of paid paternity leave. Paternity leave can be taken up to six months following the birth of the child and may be split up in daily or weekly increments. Consistent with the provisions on maternity leave, fathers will receive compensation equal to 80% of their income.

Sick Leave

Sick Leave

Employees who are unable to perform their work due to an illness, injury or accident are entitled to paid leave. The duration of that period is relative to that of the employment relationship, but it may not be less than three weeks.

Employees are required to provide a medical certificate for any absence in excess of 3 consecutive days due to sickness.

Family Care Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 3 days of paid family leave in order to care for an ill child or a serious illness of a family member.

Jury Duty Leave, and Voting Leave

Employers are required to grant their employees a paid leave not less than three weeks, in order to perform their legal obligations. 

Bereavement Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 3 days of paid leave due to the death of a close family member. The precise conditions are often set by collective agreements.

Military Leave

Employers must guarantee employees protection from termination for the duration of military, civilian, or civil defense service. Employees can still give notice during this time.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.