Your employer informs you that they are terminating your employment. What are the key points to consider in this situation?
Observing the notice period
Your employer must observe the notice period. If this notice period was not agreed in writing and there is no collective bargaining agreement in place, the period of notice is governed by the Code of Obligations and is as follows:
- during the probation period: 7 days (from the end of any day)
- in the first year of service: 1 month (from the end of a month)
- from the 2nd to the 9th year of service: 2 months (from the end of a month)
- from the 10th year of service: 3 months (from the end of a month)
There is special protection against dismissal that applies for periods of military service, civilian service or protection service, during illness or following an accident, or during pregnancy. While this protection against dismissal is in force, employees may not be dismissed. If you are unsure whether you are protected from dismissal, notify your employer immediately by registered post that you wish to continue working.
If you yourself hand in your notice without having a new job lined up, or if you are dismissed through your own fault, your right to unemployment benefits could be temporarily suspended.
Requesting a job reference
In order to be able to apply for a new job with a complete file, you will require a job reference from your current employment. Ask your employer for a reference (or at least a confirmation of employment) covering the period of your employment. Your employer is obliged to issue a favourable and truthful reference.
Make use of your notice period
Compile your application file and start looking for a job immediately. Keep the letters of application, job offers, rejection letters, etc. You must present them later to your RAV personnel consultant in order to receive full unemployment benefits.
Duty to prevent and minimise losses
As part of your duty to prevent and minimise losses, you are obliged to do everything reasonable to avoid and shorten the period of your unemployment. You must apply for vacancies before you become unemployed, if necessary also outside your field of expertise. To improve your chances on the labour market, the regional employment centre (RAV) can oblige you to participate in labour market measures.
If you have not looked for a new job during the notice period or cannot prove that you have done so, you will not receive unemployment benefit for a certain period of time.
To clarify further questions, it is best to sign on with the RAV for public employment services and register on Job Room – the largest job portal in Switzerland – to use the eServices and functions available there. Find out more on the following pages.