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Old 28.04.2013, 20:37
solidsnack solidsnack is offline
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Location: Zürich
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Re: Vacation Accrual

Thank you everyone for your helpful posts. I am glad to discover that cashing people out for unused vacation time is not unheard of in Switzerland. In the US it is very standard.

Especially after a termination, one's notice period is not really vacation. I have spent all of it interviewing, researching companies, studying for interviews or providing work samples. There is web site devoted to the law surrounding vacation time in Switzerland and they touch on this exact issue:

Die arbeitsrechtliche Praxis kennt folgende Ausnahmen zum Ferien-Abgeltungsverbot:
  • Beendigung des Arbeitsverhältnisses
    • Ferienbezug ist nicht mehr in natura möglich (bei nachgenannten Ursachen (alternativ oder kumulativ))
      • Stellensuche während Kündigungsfrist
      • ...


The practice of labor law recognizes the following exceptions to the ban on compensation for holidays:
  • At the end of employment
    • The use of vacation is not really practical (due to the following causes
      (one or another or altogether))
      • The search for a new position during the notice period
      • ...
The Ferien-Abgeltungsverbot they mention is Obligationenrecht Artikel 329d Absatz 2:

Die Ferien dürfen während der Dauer des Arbeitsverhältnisses nicht durch Geldleistungen oder andere Vergünstigungen abgegolten werden.


During the time of employment, vacations days may not be substituted for by payments or other benefits.
and they point out that it applies to both the employee and the employer -- neither one can try to arrange an exchange of cash for vacation during the period of employment.

I will try mentioning it to them again and I can include their refusal in my application at the Arbeitslosenkasse.
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