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Old 26.09.2018, 11:03
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Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

My wife travels with work a fair deal (even though this wasn't mentioned in her interviews /contract).
She has travelled to Turkey twice before this year (while the state of emergency was in effect) to train textile company customers but this was in the European region west of Istanbul.
Now her boss is in Gaziantep which is near to the Syrian border. Another (also male) colleague was there recently.
My wife has been instructed to to carry out training for five days.
Although the state of emergency has been lifted recently the Swiss, German, UK, US expressly mention this city and region as a place that they advise against all but essential travel.

I don't want my wife to go but she likes to be dependable with her management.
Does anyone know if it is illegal for the employer to ask her to travel to such a place and if her travel, life, accident etc insurance is invalid? Where does she stand legally under Swiss Employent law?
I guess she is entitled to say no but I am not sure if her company is legally allowed to go to a place against Swiss government advice.

I know it is statistically unlikely that something bad would happen but naturally I am concerned her going to such a volatile area with IS and Kurdish conflicts still bubbling and Turkish troops bein bolstered in that region.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 26.09.2018, 11:41
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

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My wife travels with work a fair deal (even though this wasn't mentioned in her interviews /contract).
She has travelled to Turkey twice before this year (while the state of emergency was in effect) to train textile company customers but this was in the European region west of Istanbul.
Now her boss is in Gaziantep which is near to the Syrian border. Another (also male) colleague was there recently.
My wife has been instructed to to carry out training for five days.
Although the state of emergency has been lifted recently the Swiss, German, UK, US expressly mention this city and region as a place that they advise against all but essential travel.

I don't want my wife to go but she likes to be dependable with her management.
Does anyone know if it is illegal for the employer to ask her to travel to such a place and if her travel, life, accident etc insurance is invalid? Where does she stand legally under Swiss Employent law?
I guess she is entitled to say no but I am not sure if her company is legally allowed to go to a place against Swiss government advice.

I know it is statistically unlikely that something bad would happen but naturally I am concerned her going to such a volatile area with IS and Kurdish conflicts still bubbling and Turkish troops bein bolstered in that region.

Thanks for any input.

Sure she can say no and if it really is justifiable there should be no problem. Does she hold a Swiss passport and if not, what does her country of origin advise to travel in that area.


I don't know much about the dangers here but if other people have been and had no problem it may make life difficult to refuse to go, depending on her nationality and their relation with the various factions involved, both political and religious.



The counter side is, her company can also say thank you and good bye....
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Old 26.09.2018, 12:28
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

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Does she hold a Swiss passport and if not, what does her country of origin advise to travel in that area.


The counter side is, her company can also say thank you and good bye....
Thanks for the response Today.
She has a German and a Swiss passport.
Both countries advise against all but essential travel in that area.
I tried to call the number of the Swiss consulate there (Yes the Swiss had one) but the line was dead. So that might also be an indicator of safety.

Last edited by higgybaby; 26.09.2018 at 13:20.
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Old 26.09.2018, 13:27
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

The employer has a duty of care towards his employees according to Art. 328 Swiss Code of Obligations. There is an article (German only) on the topic of "Duty of care of the employer and legal consequences - with particular focus on health protection regarding "Expats""

There are also service providers which deal specifically with this topic in that they provide safety/security assessments for employers and advise them when dispatching employees to risk areas:
https://www.internationalsos.com/med...urity-services
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Old 26.09.2018, 15:02
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

I wouldn't want to go to Glarus either .
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Old 26.09.2018, 15:25
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

"essential travel" .... in my view that would be business?
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Old 26.09.2018, 15:41
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

I would raise the question of the public travel warning with the employer. Is the training really that essential or could it be moved to a city that is outside the pretty small critical area of Turkey?


Lets be honest: its not your average business trip and its fine to ask if you should really go there. Having said that are neither the Kurds nor the Rebels going to invade 50km into Turkey any time soon... and a terrorist attack is just as if not more likely in central Istanbul.
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Old 26.09.2018, 16:20
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

Interesting. My company normally does the opposite - if there's civil unrest or of course even war, all travel to that country will be cancelled.

Near Syria does seem a little, well, optimistic. Istanbul is hardly an issue, but I don't know where and how close Gaziantep is exactly to Syria though.

Because indeed, the employer does have an obligation to protect employees and that extends to travel in critical areas. Checking with the department of foreign affairs (EDA in Switzerland) is important too, they will normally say "non-essential travel to be avoided" though for Syria and the Syrian border I'd expect to read "total ban". There's also considerations and possible implications for any type of insurance coverage should anything happen.

I would push back on this one. Delivering a training doesn't exactly scream "essential" to me.
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Old 26.09.2018, 16:22
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

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I don't know where and how close Gaziantep is exactly to Syria though.
50km as the crow flies, as was previously mentioned.

Tom
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Old 26.09.2018, 16:25
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

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50km as the crow flies, as was previously mentioned.

Tom
Oops thanks, didn't see that.
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Old 26.09.2018, 16:28
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

Why would she take that kind of risk, what's in it for her? The region isn't known to treat women particularly well.

What security measures will be in place, will she have a trusted local guide as advised? And what guarantees (by a trusted 3rd party aka insurance) does the employer provide that all costs arising from that trip will be covered regardless of the total amount, should things go wrong?
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Old 26.09.2018, 16:57
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

Does the employer provider Kidnap and Ransom insurance? Have they provided training on what to do if all goes pear shaped.
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Old 26.09.2018, 18:36
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

Isn't is safer and even maybe cheaper to bring some employees from there to Switzerland for a good training? The company seems acting very unreasonable for me like they are waiting for her to disagree.
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Old 26.09.2018, 19:28
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

+1 for pushing back and suggesting alternatives.

Wikipedia says Gaziantep is 97 kms north of Aleppo, which has seen some of the worst fighting in Syria. WAY too close for my comfort so I fully understand OP's concerns.

Can the company not have the employees go to Istanbul for training instead of OP's wife going to Gaziantep? What irresponsible manager comes up with such plans??
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Old 26.09.2018, 19:29
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

Maybe there is a textile machine in situ? This is why she needs to go to the customer?
I would check the situation the day before setting off, then make a decision.
40km is quite a big buffer zone; but the female and kidnap scenario would worry me.
Hope she gets offered danger money for the 5 days and stays in a secure hotel.
Better to vent a few apprehensions to the boss beforehand and as mentioned, ensure you are covered for all eventualites (insurance and escape)
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Old 26.09.2018, 19:43
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

If she does go, she should register with the Swiss embassy there. So they know she's there - just in case.
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Old 26.09.2018, 20:50
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

I cannot answer the question but I came to say that Gaziantep is by no means considered a dangerous city. It is in a part of Turkey known for conflicts and of course close to the Syrian border but Gaziantep is considered to be a gem in the area. Quite affluent and known for amazing food. Unlike the nearby city of Diyarbakir its name is rarely heard in relation to terror attacks.

I have never been there myself but I wouldn't have qualms about going there for work if I were sent there. I would rate the place to be no more dangerous than Egypt or Tunisia.
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Old 26.09.2018, 20:57
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

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but the female and kidnap scenario would worry me.
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Old 26.09.2018, 21:08
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

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but the female and kidnap scenario would worry me.
Generally speaking not exactly a thing to worry about in Turkey
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Old 29.09.2018, 17:51
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Re: Can Swiss Employer Legally Send Swiss Employee to Danger Area For Work

Thanks for all the contributions.
I will post an update (quite interesting) shortly.
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