IN A NUTSHELL
Under Swiss law, mass dismissals require compliance with special procedures, which are stated in the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO). It is important to adhere to the rules, as non-compliance may result in lawsuits (for unfair dismissal) or the continuance of the employment relationships. However, when do we speak of mass dismissals and what are the required procedures?
DEFINITION OF MASS DISMISSAL
Notices of termination given by the employer within a period of 30 days for reasons unrelated to the individual employee and affecting the following numbers of employees are considered as ‘mass dismissals’ (art. 335d CO):
- 10 employees in a business usually employing more than 20 and less than 100 employees;
- 10 percent of the workforce in a business usually employing more than 100 and less than 300 employees;
- 30 employees in a business employing more than 300 employees.
While terminations for altered conditions and early terminations of a temporary contract are considered to be relevant for purposes of the rules on mass dismissal, terminations based on termination agreements or due to the employer’s bankruptcy are not included within the coverage of the rules.
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