Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Employment  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 28.05.2014, 16:16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Zug
Posts: 36
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
dannyb1 has no particular reputation at present
Employment rules around non-payment

Hi - My girlfriend has been working 100% at a company for over 6 months now. She is now a full-time employee and passed any probational period that was defined in her contract.

Her last salary payment hasn't been paid, and according to the owner of the business there isn't any money left to pay staff.. Appartently she is waiting on payments to be made first before paying the staff.. (Bad cash flow management if you ask me!) She has been paid around 50% of her salary so far, but there is no guarantee she will receive anything further..

Has anyone had a similar experience to this in Switzerland, as many people have given us different bits of advice. I'm not sure on employment law here within Switzerland, and if she stops going to work is that essentially her breaking the contract too.. She's stuck between a bit of a rock & hardplace. She will look for another job in the meantime, but doesn't want to essentially work for nothing.

We're from the UK and she has a B permit.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 28.05.2014, 17:44
Samaire13's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CH
Posts: 4,333
Groaned at 128 Times in 102 Posts
Thanked 7,258 Times in 2,761 Posts
Samaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Of course that is a breach of contract. I understand the company hasn't declared bankruptcy yet?

So good news first - she will receive her money no matter what, i.e. this month's salary plus at least the money for the duration of her notice period (however long that might be). No employer here can simply say "well sorry, ain't no money left, so maybe you'll get a bit of your salary some day"


The below is in case bankruptcy has NOT been declared yet.

I take it she has tried the friendly and harmless way already by trying to find out as to why no salary was paid. And got a fantastic response.

So what she should do now is send a letter by registered mail to remind the employer of his obligation to pay her a (full) salary and set a deadline (can be short, 5-7 days). In this letter, she can also ask for interest on the outstanding amount (usually 5%).

Assuming the salary is not paid (in full) within that deadline, she technically has four options
a) refuse to continue to work, i.e. basically go on temporary strike. Please note that this has no consequences for her either on the salary or the working hours, i.e. the salary cannot be reduced because she went on a mini-strike, nor would she have to work additional hours to make up for lost hours later.
b) sue the employer, through the local/cantonal "Friedensrichter" (not sure about the English word, justice of peace, that correct?)
c) initiate debt enforcement ("Betreibung") - respective forms can be found on the homepage of the cantonal "Konkursamt" (google accordingly)
d) hand in resignation with immediate effect - this is allowed as there's a severe breach of contract on the employer's end. Don't worry about the salary - there will be compensation for damages in the form of past outstanding salaries plus those for the regular notice period.

Clearly, none of these options are comfortable, with a), b) and c) being particularly unpleasant. Do not delay this too much, though, fast action is necessary in such cases. I assume no employee got their full salary? Maybe she can speak to colleagues and they can agree on a particular action…

Please also contact the cantonal labor court.

Also, she should go to RAV asap (and not in a month or two, but now). Just in case. A registration with the RAV can still be withdrawn if it becomes redundant, but if it is done too late, benefits might be cut.

Once the employer declares bankruptcy, additional steps need to be taken - but that can be dealt with later.

I hope this helps a bit, sorry, there's a lot of technical terms in this that I didn't quite know how to translate properly
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Samaire13 for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 28.05.2014, 18:46
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Solothurn
Posts: 724
Groaned at 88 Times in 55 Posts
Thanked 645 Times in 325 Posts
Enaj has a reputation beyond reputeEnaj has a reputation beyond reputeEnaj has a reputation beyond reputeEnaj has a reputation beyond reputeEnaj has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Quote:
View Post
Has anyone had a similar experience to this in Switzerland, as many people have given us different bits of advice.

.
Yes. A friend (single mother) was owed 3 months salary by a former employer. Because of this she was unable to pay her rent and had to move back in with her mother. Took a long time but she went to the "Arbeitsgericht", and she did eventually get her salary plus interest and the employer had to take over court costs.

A woman I work with now (L) is owed over 30,000 Fr. for 6 months work which was never paid to her. The employer claimed she hadn't received payment from customers and always promised 'next month, next month' to pay(L) the wages. For some reason (L) still works for the same employer part time and has accepted a bill of liability which basically means that when the employer dies she (L), will inherit 30,000 Fr. from the employer's estate.

Personally I don't believe this will happen because the employer's brother is a lawyer and knows all the "get outs" and think (L) should take the legal route to getting her money but she is too nice.

Seems to be a regular occurence in Switzerland.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 28.05.2014 at 21:25. Reason: fixed quoting
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Enaj for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 28.05.2014, 20:08
fatmanfilms's Avatar
The Marmite Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,001
Groaned at 450 Times in 344 Posts
Thanked 22,285 Times in 11,533 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

It happens all the time, I have waited 6 months before now.
By law upto 3 months salaries are insured & this will always be paid.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank fatmanfilms for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 28.05.2014, 22:33
Samaire13's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: CH
Posts: 4,333
Groaned at 128 Times in 102 Posts
Thanked 7,258 Times in 2,761 Posts
Samaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond reputeSamaire13 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Quote:
View Post
It happens all the time, I have waited 6 months before now.
By law upto 3 months salaries are insured & this will always be paid.
"all the time"? I know no one who has experienced this.

Of course it does happen, but not regularly. And honestly, I would NEVER wait 6 months for my salary. I'm really not someone to complain easily about employer or work and everything that goes along with it, but this I would not accept. I work in exchange for money, not out of the goodness of my heart. I expect to be paid for my work, and I expect to be paid on time. That is not too much to ask; we all have financial obligations and can't just wait around and hope for the best because our employer screwed up.

By the way, even if in bankruptcy, salaries are one of the first things that need to be paid, usually well before other claims. Depending on the specific situation, the insurance might cover this payment, but it shows the importance of it.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Samaire13 for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 29.05.2014, 08:58
fatmanfilms's Avatar
The Marmite Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,001
Groaned at 450 Times in 344 Posts
Thanked 22,285 Times in 11,533 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Quote:
View Post
"all the time"? I know no one who has experienced this.

Of course it does happen, but not regularly. And honestly, I would NEVER wait 6 months for my salary. I'm really not someone to complain easily about employer or work and everything that goes along with it, but this I would not accept. I work in exchange for money, not out of the goodness of my heart. I expect to be paid for my work, and I expect to be paid on time. That is not too much to ask; we all have financial obligations and can't just wait around and hope for the best because our employer screwed up.

By the way, even if in bankruptcy, salaries are one of the first things that need to be paid, usually well before other claims. Depending on the specific situation, the insurance might cover this payment, but it shows the importance of it.
If you do lots of short term contracts, you get paid when you get paid...I would say 1 in 10 companies pay me by the 5th of the following month as required by law.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank fatmanfilms for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 29.05.2014, 22:24
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Zug
Posts: 36
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
dannyb1 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Many thanks for the detailed advice! Much appreciated.


We have received some form of payment from her work now, although its only about 2/3rds of the total amount. There are other staff who are still waiting 2+ months for salary, so it does seem very random & sporadic payments from the owner..


We tried the softly softly approach and this seemed to work, as she made some for of payment. But I think this will be an on-going problem..


We will see what happens.. I guess finding a job where they actually pay the staff is her best option going forward!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 30.05.2014, 07:44
fatmanfilms's Avatar
The Marmite Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,001
Groaned at 450 Times in 344 Posts
Thanked 22,285 Times in 11,533 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Quote:
View Post
Many thanks for the detailed advice! Much appreciated.


We have received some form of payment from her work now, although its only about 2/3rds of the total amount. There are other staff who are still waiting 2+ months for salary, so it does seem very random & sporadic payments from the owner..


We tried the softly softly approach and this seemed to work, as she made some for of payment. But I think this will be an on-going problem..


We will see what happens.. I guess finding a job where they actually pay the staff is her best option going forward!
They don't have the cash, make a small fuss & payment will come in drips & drabs. Put the company in liquidation & there will be a Long wait before any money will be paid however you will also loose your job. I know which option I would choose.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 16.06.2014, 13:57
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Zug
Posts: 36
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
dannyb1 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Quote:
View Post
Of course that is a breach of contract. I understand the company hasn't declared bankruptcy yet?

So good news first - she will receive her money no matter what, i.e. this month's salary plus at least the money for the duration of her notice period (however long that might be). No employer here can simply say "well sorry, ain't no money left, so maybe you'll get a bit of your salary some day"


The below is in case bankruptcy has NOT been declared yet.

I take it she has tried the friendly and harmless way already by trying to find out as to why no salary was paid. And got a fantastic response.

So what she should do now is send a letter by registered mail to remind the employer of his obligation to pay her a (full) salary and set a deadline (can be short, 5-7 days). In this letter, she can also ask for interest on the outstanding amount (usually 5%).

Assuming the salary is not paid (in full) within that deadline, she technically has four options
a) refuse to continue to work, i.e. basically go on temporary strike. Please note that this has no consequences for her either on the salary or the working hours, i.e. the salary cannot be reduced because she went on a mini-strike, nor would she have to work additional hours to make up for lost hours later.
b) sue the employer, through the local/cantonal "Friedensrichter" (not sure about the English word, justice of peace, that correct?)
c) initiate debt enforcement ("Betreibung") - respective forms can be found on the homepage of the cantonal "Konkursamt" (google accordingly)
d) hand in resignation with immediate effect - this is allowed as there's a severe breach of contract on the employer's end. Don't worry about the salary - there will be compensation for damages in the form of past outstanding salaries plus those for the regular notice period.

Clearly, none of these options are comfortable, with a), b) and c) being particularly unpleasant. Do not delay this too much, though, fast action is necessary in such cases. I assume no employee got their full salary? Maybe she can speak to colleagues and they can agree on a particular action…

Please also contact the cantonal labor court.

Also, she should go to RAV asap (and not in a month or two, but now). Just in case. A registration with the RAV can still be withdrawn if it becomes redundant, but if it is done too late, benefits might be cut.

Once the employer declares bankruptcy, additional steps need to be taken - but that can be dealt with later.

I hope this helps a bit, sorry, there's a lot of technical terms in this that I didn't quite know how to translate properly
So it turns out now the Creche she is working in has gone bankrupt and closed down.. It's crazy, the Kanton shut the place down for not having enough staff to cover the children..

She has managed to get a new job straight away, and we did get the first missing payment. Although she is now owed her final months salary (some of the staff who left prior are owed between 1 - 4 months!)

Do you know the process to claim the money back from the owner? Or would this be covered by the Kanton?

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:18
fatmanfilms's Avatar
The Marmite Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,001
Groaned at 450 Times in 344 Posts
Thanked 22,285 Times in 11,533 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Quote:
View Post
So it turns out now the Creche she is working in has gone bankrupt and closed down.. It's crazy, the Kanton shut the place down for not having enough staff to cover the children..

She has managed to get a new job straight away, and we did get the first missing payment. Although she is now owed her final months salary (some of the staff who left prior are owed between 1 - 4 months!)

Do you know the process to claim the money back from the owner? Or would this be covered by the Kanton?

Thanks!
Salary should be insured along with AHV & Pension payments.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:27
PaddyG's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pensier, Fribourg
Posts: 9,243
Groaned at 118 Times in 102 Posts
Thanked 16,857 Times in 5,912 Posts
PaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Is this her boss?

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 16.06.2014, 14:40
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Zug
Posts: 36
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
dannyb1 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Quote:
View Post
Is this her boss?

Not far off!

Think she had kittens in the draw not puppies..
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 31.08.2020, 22:02
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Suisse Romande
Posts: 499
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 113 Times in 90 Posts
eireann has made some interesting contributions
Re: Employment rules around non-payment

Quote:
View Post
Of course that is a breach of contract. I understand the company hasn't declared bankruptcy yet?

So good news first - she will receive her money no matter what, i.e. this month's salary plus at least the money for the duration of her notice period (however long that might be). No employer here can simply say "well sorry, ain't no money left, so maybe you'll get a bit of your salary some day"

Also, she should go to RAV asap (and not in a month or two, but now). Just in case. A registration with the RAV can still be withdrawn if it becomes redundant, but if it is done too late, benefits might be cut.

Once the employer declares bankruptcy, additional steps need to be taken - but that can be dealt with later.

I hope this helps a bit, sorry, there's a lot of technical terms in this that I didn't quite know how to translate properly

Hello, this was very helpful but would you be able to clarify the point about registering with the RAV asap please. In what way may benefits be cut? Is this to avoid a reduction in the mean earnings?



If you open a "Rahmenfrist" with the RAV whether due to unpaid salary or if you agree to reduce your working hours but need a top up...what happens then if things return to normal, but then 9 months later you find yourself unemployed. Does that mean that you've lost those 9 months of "Rahmenfrist"? - I don't know how it all works out timewise and opening a new Rahmenfrist, but my question is are you reducing the time you may be eligible for benefits when you become officially unemployed if you register with the RAV as an unpaid employee or one that has had their hours reduced? Is the aim of early registration to lock in the current salary? What about the fact that the salary is insured for some months - does that affect things?


Are circumstances different with the RAV in the case of unpaid salary vs being unemployed?
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New employment rules for non- EU swiss University graduates lennam Permits/visas/government 42 27.04.2014 19:26
Rules/laws surrounding intern payment in Switzerland Peter 1875 Employment 0 19.11.2012 13:40
school payment for non provided period. sys4cad Leaving Switzerland 4 26.12.2010 22:36
non-payment of a contract - what next? ebanksy Business & entrepreneur 21 15.03.2008 14:23
Non-payment by previous employer cosmicsnail Employment 7 31.10.2007 13:09


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 17:16.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0