Overtime / supplemental hours worked

Young people under the age of sixteen cannot be asked to work overtime. Those aged sixteen or over may be required to work overtime during daily working hours from 6 o’clock in the morning (where applicable between 5 and 7 in the morning) and up to ten o’clock at night. The maximum hours to be worked per day by young people (9 hours) cannot however be exceeded. In addition, the minimum rest period (12 hours) must be respected.

Overtime can only be demanded in particular circumstances such as extraordinary work, additional work due to the season, unexpected events as well as damage repair work. Overtime must be paid or time given off in lieu within fourteen weeks. The time given off in lieu must at least be equivalent to the overtime worked. Young people should preferably be given time off in lieu as opposed to overtime pay. As far as overtime pay is concerned, if the maximum number of hours to be worked per week as laid down in the Employment Act (EmpA, SR 822.11) has been exceeded, the contractual salary shall be increased by at least 25%. If the contractual working hours but not the maximum legal working hours have been exceeded due to overtime, reference shall be made to the written agreements with regard to overtime pay (contract, CEA and SEC). If there is no written agreement, the salary must also be increased by at least 25%.

The question sometimes arises as to whether the instruction given by the VET trainer is to be considered as additional working hours; as far as apprenticeship training is concerned, the working hours stipulated in the contract must serve as the basis for the calculation. Training work in addition to working hours, which enables the learner to attain training objectives (e.?g. evening work) must be considered as working hours. The same shall not apply when the company organises an optional course that will enable the learner to reinforce knowledge that is not stipulated in the regulatory or contractual training programme or that entails additional help to fill training gaps. On the other hand, tasks that are imposed on learners outside of working hours as a punishment or to fill gaps in training attributable to the VET trainer cannot be accepted.