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Old 08.04.2012, 00:51
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Flexible hours / Compensation time at Credit Suisse / UBS / Zurich etc

Hello, I've searched the forum and web without answer.

I'm with a firm that mandates "Compensation Time", i.e. when the employee works extra hours over the contracted 42/week then equal hours can be taken off at a later date.

I haven't worked under this balancing system before but as the project work has been intense (80+ hours/week recently ) we appreciate and need it.

Is Compensation Time practised in other large Swiss firms (that employ English-speakers) ?



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Old 08.04.2012, 01:59
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Re: Flexible hours / Compensation time at Credit Suisse / UBS / Zurich etc

Yes, it is in one of the large banks. You can compensate a day off, or half a day off, if you have overtime built up of course.
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Old 08.04.2012, 09:07
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Re: Flexible hours / Compensation time at Credit Suisse / UBS / Zurich etc

Flex time is technically a policy in most large companies and provisions in the law allow for it. Sometimes it is time, sometimes it is time and a half depending on the hours work and depending on the company policy. It should be in your contract or in some sort of HR documentation what the specific company policy is.

However, you can run into some companies (will not name and shame) where flex time is not looked upon well by management and those who are so-called worried about their careers wind up not taking it or mentioning it, so I would find out what your company's "unwritten" policy is for overtime and flex time. I've been there and yes I am still bitter.
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Old 08.04.2012, 09:20
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Re: Flexible hours / Compensation time at Credit Suisse / UBS / Zurich etc

Yes, my husband works at Nestle and they have it. Best thing to do is talk to your boss because he is the one that records your vacation time, sick time, etc. Tell him you are aware of the company policy, ask him if it applies to you, then nicely say we have been working xx hours, is it ok if a take Friday off? (or whatever day you want or half day....If I leave half day here is it ok.....)

Usually most people use the comp time in the summer to leave half day Friday. See if you can negotiate with your boss on best times for him so he doesn't feel put out.....or your clients (internal and external). Such as I won't be available Friday afternoon is that ok? Sometimes we would take comp days but just agree to be reachable by phone. Best if see what works with your boss.
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Old 08.04.2012, 10:41
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Compensation time at UBS depends on your rank, anything AD and below you can comp either with vacation days or paid out. This will more than likely depend on your boss, but you have the choice - most prefer you take the days and recommend it should be within a certain time frame.

Compensation D level and above is usually only done under exceptional circumstances as at that level you're paid a monthly stipend which covers overtime. For example, my other half works on a 2 month project which has him working 100+ hours a week for 8 weeks. When it was all said and done his team was allowed to comp 2 weeks at Christmas, but that was only because they worked ridiculous hours. If he was to work 2 extra hours a day for a week he wouldn't be able to take a day as a comp day.

And as far as I'm aware its not meant to be "one to one" for comp hours, it's really only meant to be used in circumstances where you're working on projects that require serious overtime. Not working 1-2 extra hours a day for face time and then comping them.
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Old 08.04.2012, 12:36
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Re: Flexible hours / Compensation time at Credit Suisse / UBS / Zurich etc

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However, you can run into some companies (will not name and shame) where flex time is not looked upon well by management and those who are so-called worried about their careers wind up not taking it or mentioning it, so I would find out what your company's "unwritten" policy is.
Hi, in our insurance company (I am not a Director level) the policy is clear, the hours are comped. It is hard enough to get the Swiss to work beyond the normal finish time with this policy, if the hours could be for nothing then no chance.

Name and shame !! It will be too late if people only learn the reality after joining a company.


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Best if see what works with your boss.
Fortunately in my current company it is very clearly part of the culture regardless of what one boss may think (... at least that is my understanding). I am curious (for myself and others) how other firms behave.


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Compensation time at UBS ..... days or paid out
That is flexible. Wonder if CS is the same ?

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Compensation D level and above is usually only done under exceptional circumstances as at that level you're paid a monthly stipend which covers overtime. For example, my other half works on a 2 month project which has him working 100+ hours a week for 8 weeks.
When working at D level it seems you are open to be abused. Your man will burn out with un-compensated hours like that. I've seen it happen to a good guy very recently.

Last edited by Burrito; 08.04.2012 at 12:39. Reason: clarity
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Old 08.04.2012, 13:07
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Hi, in our insurance company (I am not a Director level) the policy is clear, the hours are comped. It is hard enough to get the Swiss to work beyond the normal finish time with this policy, if the hours could be for nothing then no chance.

Name and shame !! It will be too late if people only learn the reality after joining a company.




Fortunately in my current company it is very clearly part of the culture regardless of what one boss may think (... at least that is my understanding). I am curious (for myself and others) how other firms behave.




That is flexible. Wonder if CS is the same ?



When working at D level it seems you are open to be abused. Your man will burn out with un-compensated hours like that. I've seen it happen to a good guy very recently.
You're right, the hours he worked were crazy. Fortunately it's only once a year from Sept - early Nov. unfortunately our first baby is due early October, will be interesting to see how things pan out. :-S
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Old 08.04.2012, 13:22
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Re: Flexible hours / Compensation time at Credit Suisse / UBS / Zurich etc

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I haven't worked under this balancing system before but as the project work has been intense (80+ hours/week recently ) we appreciate and need it.
I think it's a great system. The (Swiss) company I am working for now has it, whereas the (American) one where I was before didn't. Although working time there was totally flexible, you definitely got funny looks from certain people if you went home at 3 in the afternoon, even if you had worked a 10-hour day the day before or if you were planning to take a conference call from home later.

Make sure you read the conditions carefully though... where I work, you are allowed to build up a maximum of 120 hours' overtime (I think). If you are working eighty-hour weeks, you would hit a limit like that very quickly - so make sure you know what happens once you hit the limit!
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