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Old 03.10.2011, 22:24
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On call availability

Hi all,

my company want me to participate in a new "On Call Availability" service without any kind of compensation. Basically means 7x24 hours reachable by phone, work from home and close to the office over the weekends when doing the service.

Is it legal? Nothing is written in the contract so I wonder what are the conditions for this kind of service in Switzerland and where can I ask about my rights at work.

Thanks!
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Old 03.10.2011, 23:37
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Re: On call availability

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my company want me to participate in a new "On Call Availability" service without any kind of compensation. Basically means 7x24 hours reachable by phone, work from home and close to the office over the weekends when doing the service.

Is it legal? Nothing is written in the contract so I wonder what are the conditions for this kind of service in Switzerland and where can I ask about my rights at work.
Depends what position you hold within the organisation

If you are in a managerial position with individual employment contract, it tends to go with the territory.

If you are on a hourly wage with a collective agreement, it is probably written in the agreement somewhere what your compensation should be. Or in a company policy somewhere.

Check with the HR department of your company. You can always talk to them in confidence.
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Old 03.10.2011, 23:45
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Re: On call availability

My husband works in IT security for a large insurance company here, and he now has to be on-call one weekend every month.

I just asked him if he gets paid extra for it, and he said that yes he does because it's not part of his contract.

I think it would be very unfair and irrational, though, for any company to really expect an employee to be "on-call" every weekend, 24/7.
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Old 03.10.2011, 23:47
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Re: On call availability

Well if you are not being paid, you are not being employed. Maybe you could gently point that out to your line manager.

It is normal to be paid a retainer, at least 10% of your employment rate for standby. Once the phone rings you should be paid 100% plus overtime rates.

Search for the relevant Swiss law? Ask a lawyer? Go to an Arbeitsgericht and ask for free advice? Join a union?
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Old 04.10.2011, 06:17
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Re: On call availability

Standard working hours should be defined as part of your contract, either directly or indirectly (referenced in the HR manual, etc). Have a look at that, then gently explain to your employer that if they want to to renegotiate the contract, you are happy to do so.

Of course, they can choose to get rid of you instead, so be prepared for that alternative.
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Old 04.10.2011, 09:26
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Re: On call availability

I work for a major bank, and have been told that being in an on call team of less than 7 is illegal, because no one should work on call for more than one week in seven. I am also told that any work performed must not exceed 40 hours per month, due to employment law and tax issues. I haven't really questioned this.

A call to the gemeinde should throw up some relevant legislation ?
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Old 04.10.2011, 10:17
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Re: On call availability

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I work for a major bank, and have been told that being in an on call team of less than 7 is illegal, because no one should work on call for more than one week in seven. I am also told that any work performed must not exceed 40 hours per month, due to employment law and tax issues. I haven't really questioned this.

A call to the gemeinde should throw up some relevant legislation ?
That major bank probably has a GAV (Gesamtarbeitsvertrag) and quite a few employees who are members of a union. OPs company might have none of that, although at the very least OP should be paid for time actually worked and get overtime if that time exceeds contractual hours.
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Old 04.10.2011, 22:02
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Re: On call availability

Thanks to all for the reply! I will check with HR manager.
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