Time off in lieu/Working hours lost

Time off in lieu of public holidays
Public holidays, which are established by law, are days that are not worked. They are not additional holidays that must be granted by the employer. As a consequence, time off in lieu is not granted if they coincide with holiday leave or with other days that are not worked unless there is a contractual agreement (e.g. a CEA).

However, if the public holidays coincide with holidays, time off in lieu is generally granted by the employer if holiday leave is calculated in days and not in weeks, as provided for by the CO.

Time off in lieu of work on Sundays and public holidays
If learners have to work, either exceptionally or on a regular basis, on Sundays or on public holidays − under the terms of an exceptional authorisation from the canton or a general authorisation from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) − they are entitled to time off in lieu.

  • If the work on Sundays lasts more than five hours, the learner is entitled to a period of rest of at least 36 consecutive hours (day off in lieu and daily rest period) during the previous or following week between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Learners who exceptionally work six Sundays per calendar year are entitled to an extra 50% on their hourly salary.

If night work is authorised in an occupation or branch, the following should be complied with:

  • Apprentices who work fewer than 25 nights per year are entitled to at least an extra 25% of their salary for their night work.
  • Apprentices who work at night (between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.) on a regular basis or over a long period of time are entitled to time off, which is equivalent to 10% of the night work.
  • The night work shall not exceed nine or ten hours, including breaks.
  • Apprentices are entitled to a daily rest period of at least 12 consecutive hours.
  • The Youth Employment Protection Ordinance (EmpO 5, SR 822.115) and the EAER Ordinance of 21 April 2011 on Special Dispensations for Night and Sunday Work in Apprenticeship Training (SR 822.115.4) stipulates that night work is banned before and after the days when apprentices attend vocational instruction.

Working hours lost due to work stoppage
If work is suspended for a relatively short period of time due to problems in the host company, or to closure of the host company for holidays or between days that are not worked or in similar circumstances, the host company may, with the apprentice’s consent, ask for the hours lost to be worked within a reasonable period of time. Nevertheless, the maximum daily working hours (9 hours) must not be exceeded. Agricultural occupations represent an exception to this rule and are dealt with in the standard employment contract (SEC).

The same provision applies to the learner to whom individual holiday leave is granted at their request.