The counterpart to employees' duty of loyalty is employers' duty of care. This requires employers to protect and care for their employees and refrain from doing anything that could conflict with employees' legitimate interests. Employers' duty of care is unregulated by law. However, it encompasses numerous aspects that have been incorporated into the Code of Obligations and other laws, including protecting employees' personality rights and ensuring gender equality in the workplace.
Presenteeism is the practice whereby employees work even though they are ill and should be taking care of themselves. It can be driven by the state of their working environment, particularly if superiors have excessive performance expectations. Presenteeism arguably negatively affects the sick employee, their co-workers, the employer and the company as a whole. Employers should be aware of their duty of care to their employees and employees should be aware of their duty of loyalty to their employer.
If employees become ill through no fault of their own and are therefore unable to work, they are still entitled to a wage. Employers' obligation to continue to pay wages is governed by Article 324a of the Code of Obligations. Employers may release themselves from this obligation if they offer employees health insurance for a daily allowance. The Federal Supreme Court has formulated the requirements for employee health insurance.
Each year many Swiss corporate clients ask the same question: are bonus payments under an employment contract at the full discretion of employers and therefore voluntary or do employers have an enforceable financial obligation in this regard? This article addresses the factual and legal considerations which usually play a role when HR departments prepare for the yearly bonus season.
Since 1981, the Federal Constitution has guaranteed equal wages for men and women who carry out similar work; however, a wage disparity exists that arguably cannot be explained by anything other than gender. The revised Federal Act on Gender Equality, which enters into force on 1 July 2020, aims to remedy this situation. Under the new regime, companies with 100 or more employees will be obliged to carry out an internal wage equality analysis every four years to identify any gender pay gaps.