Absences from the host company

An apprentice may be absent from the host company for holiday leave, youth leave, illness or injury, to comply with legal obligations but also for other reasons that are listed below. In certain exceptional circumstances, the apprentice is entitled to the usual hours or days off. The duration of the said leave depends on the event in question and the terms and conditions of the contract, the collective employment agreement (CEA), the standard employment contract (SEC), the company‘s own rules, established local customs or customs in the company or economic branch. The following list is by no means binding but may be used as a guideline:

  • wedding of a close relative: half a day to one day; 
  • death of a family member: from one to three days (depending on the degree of kinship);
  • move of a new place of residence: one day, exceptionally two days;
  • visits to the doctor, dentist or other medical professionals provided that the said consultation cannot take place during their free time. 

There is no general legal obligation to pay wages if the apprentice is absent; usually, no deductions may be made if the salary is paid monthly. If the salary is paid on an hourly basis, it is not customary to pay absences. Other specific arrangements may nevertheless apply. If the worker requests other leave, the contract, the collective employment agreement, the standard employment contract, established local customs, customs in the company or economic branch and exceptionally the right to have their private life protected apply.

  • Workers are entitled to suspend their work for religious holidays even if they are not recognised in the canton in question. They should inform the employer at least three days in advance. The employer nevertheless has the right to ask for the said absence to be worked in lieu.
  • Workers are entitled to accept job interviews during their working hours. Employers nevertheless have the right to ask for the said absences to be worked in lieu.

If a worker has unjustified absences, his/her salary will be reduced in accordance with the absence (in days and hours). The person may also be asked to pay damages. The employer may be entitled to terminate the employment or apprenticeship contract immediately on justified grounds. In all cases, however, the employer must ensure that the absence is indeed unjustified.