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Old 14.01.2019, 15:52
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Notice period not on contract, what now?

Dear All,

First thing first: I'm not new to Ch but I'm new to this Forum, so forgive me if I make any mistakes.

Now, let's talk about the issue.

I've been working for five months for an NGO in Geneva (probably the hardest months of my life!) and I had so many problems with the workplace I don't even know where to start (I am still waiting for October refunds, promised bonus, etc...).

My intention is to look for something better, but in the meantime, I'm stuck here. My contract expired, and instead of extending what I had before, they gave me a fresh one. I'm on probation again (after five months of work!) and the contract states that during this time, I have one week notice. It is actually a blessing for me, as I would like to leave ASAP... today, as I was re-reading it before I signed, I noticed that it does not say anything about notice after the probation period, whilst on the other contract it stated clearly I had to give one month notice. I raised the issue with HR, but they just did not care (they are possibly even worse than usual). Now, for me, it would be even better if I did not have to give a notice period after the probation, but I am wondering if it is covered by the law if it is not stated on the contract? I'm kinda hoping not, but I'll wait for your response.

Unfortunately, I have found that often here in CH employment laws are very confusing and very difficult to access. Any tips?

Cheers everyone!
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Old 15.01.2019, 11:06
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Re: Notice period not on contract, what now?

Normally I would have said look at the contract.
In this case, maybe worth checking with a Lawyer as well to understand your options?
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Old 15.01.2019, 11:22
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Re: Notice period not on contract, what now?

It's not very complicated, but fairly straightforward: if nothing is specifically called out in a contract or anything else that may be interpreted as a formal agreement, then the default law applies and that's one week during probation and one month thereafter. Your old contract expired, you're on a new one and that's the one that counts.

That is under the assumption that Swiss law applies to this particular NGO.
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Old 15.01.2019, 11:36
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Re: Notice period not on contract, what now?

Contracts are handled by the Swiss Code of Obligations. It specifies the default terms and conditions in case a given contract does not explicitly specify them.

You can find an nonofficial English version here at the official Swiss goverment website: https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...009/index.html

The individual work contract is handled starting at Art. 319
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a319

Resignation and time limits after the probation period can be found in
Art. 334 for time limited contracts, and Art. 335 and 335c for unlimited contracts. https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a334

In short:

Notice periods for employees and employers must be the same.

If it is a time limited contract there is no default notice period, and no possibility to cancel early within the first ten years unless the contract specifies other wise. After ten years there is a notice period of 6 months.

If it is an unlimited contract than the notice period must be at least 1 month in the first year of service. Unless you are subject to a collective employment contract agreement, than it can be shorter.

Be aware that in case of multiple successive work contracts it might be considered as an unlimited one. Search terms for this topic are Kettenarbeitsvertrag or "Contrats en chaîne"
https://droitdutravailensuisse.com/2...ats-en-chaine/
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Old 24.01.2019, 14:41
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Re: Notice period not on contract, what now?

Also, once the probation period has expired, it is generally not possible to envisage a further probation period, even or especially in a new contract. Otherwise, this could lead to a circumvention of the longer, statutory termination periods.

There are some exceptions, e.g. in case of a totally new job description.
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