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Old 15.06.2020, 13:03
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Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

Hi everyone!

I am on a temporary employment contract (CDD) in Geneva. My company is going to renew my contract for the second time, with each time renewing only for a few months (2-4 months), although there is a continuous need for my position.

I heard somewhere that in Switzerland/ the Canton of Geneva, there are regulations in labour law stating that companies cannot renew temporary contracts for more than two times. After two renewals, the company must provide a permanent contract (CDI) if they wish to keep the employee. Is this true? I don't seem to find this in legal documents.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 15.06.2020, 13:34
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Re: Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

Saldo, a consumer magazine, wrote this (translated):

"8. May several fixed-term employment contracts be linked together?

Only if there is an objective reason for doing so - for example, in the case of seasonal jobs or professional athletes. Otherwise, such chain employment contracts are inadmissible if they are intended to frustrate the employee's legal rights - such as protection against dismissal or continued payment of wages in the event of illness. "

https://www.saldo.ch/artikel/artikel...rbeitsvertrag/

Weka wrote this (translated):


"Ban on chain contracts

By agreement, the continuation (of a fixed contract) can be limited again. In principle, one or two such extensions do not pose any problems. If, however, several successive time limits are agreed upon in order to circumvent those legal provisions which follow on from the duration of the employment relationship, this is an abuse of the law. So-called chain contracts then exist, which are regarded in case law and practice as an employment relationship of indefinite duration. "

https://www.weka.ch/themen/personal/...erhaeltnisses/

For more information, consider searching on "befristeter arbeitsvertrag verlängerung schweiz". (Be careful when searching to avoid German law articles that do not apply in Switzerland.)
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Old 15.06.2020, 14:13
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Re: Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

Having the same problem here in DE, the second temp contract is running out and won´t be converted to permanent.
They are blaming it on C19 but behind the scenes it looks like they are winding down and want an easy way to get rid of staff.
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Old 15.06.2020, 15:18
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Re: Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

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Having the same problem here in DE, the second temp contract is running out and won´t be converted to permanent.
They are blaming it on C19 but behind the scenes it looks like they are winding down and want an easy way to get rid of staff.
In your case, are they not renewing your contract then? I'm getting my temp contract renewed for the second time. I don't think they are going to lay me off, but just keep giving me short-term temp contracts in the coming 2-3 years...I don't even know if it's legal.
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Old 15.06.2020, 15:25
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Re: Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

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Saldo, a consumer magazine, wrote this (translated):

"8. May several fixed-term employment contracts be linked together?

Only if there is an objective reason for doing so - for example, in the case of seasonal jobs or professional athletes. Otherwise, such chain employment contracts are inadmissible if they are intended to frustrate the employee's legal rights - such as protection against dismissal or continued payment of wages in the event of illness. "

https://www.saldo.ch/artikel/artikel...rbeitsvertrag/

Weka wrote this (translated):


"Ban on chain contracts

By agreement, the continuation (of a fixed contract) can be limited again. In principle, one or two such extensions do not pose any problems. If, however, several successive time limits are agreed upon in order to circumvent those legal provisions which follow on from the duration of the employment relationship, this is an abuse of the law. So-called chain contracts then exist, which are regarded in case law and practice as an employment relationship of indefinite duration. "

https://www.weka.ch/themen/personal/...erhaeltnisses/

For more information, consider searching on "befristeter arbeitsvertrag verlängerung schweiz". (Be careful when searching to avoid German law articles that do not apply in Switzerland.)
Thank you for the links and translations!

Are these rules applied nation-wide in CH, or only in certain (German-speaking) cantons? From what it says, it seems that "chained contract", a.k.a. indefinite continuation of fixed-term contracts, is prohibited. But it doesn't offer any insight into what the company should then do - provide a permanent contract or simply terminate the employer-employee relationship.

I'm also not quite sure how to speak to the HR about it. Our HR is very sneaky on so many different things. What if they use this as an excuse to stop renewing my contracts? :S
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Old 15.06.2020, 23:10
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Re: Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

Your temp contracts combine to form an implied permanent contract with all the safeguards that a permanent contract would have held.
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Old 18.06.2020, 10:24
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Re: Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

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In your case, are they not renewing your contract then? I'm getting my temp contract renewed for the second time. I don't think they are going to lay me off, but just keep giving me short-term temp contracts in the coming 2-3 years...I don't even know if it's legal.
Not legal, they can only give you two temp contracts then they either have to let you go or commute to a permanent contract.
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Old 18.06.2020, 22:11
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Re: Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

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Not legal, they can only give you two temp contracts then they either have to let you go or commute to a permanent contract.
That's what I heard. But at the same time, many people in my company have had their temp contracts renewed for more than two times. I just heard today from a Swiss that she knows someone who has continuous 6-month contracts for 5 years!

If it's illegal, could you please point me to the relevant legal document/ and clauses? I can't seem to find it at all...
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Old 18.06.2020, 22:32
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Re: Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

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That's what I heard. But at the same time, many people in my company have had their temp contracts renewed for more than two times. I just heard today from a Swiss that she knows someone who has continuous 6-month contracts for 5 years!

If it's illegal, could you please point me to the relevant legal document/ and clauses? I can't seem to find it at all...
These kind of contracts are called: "Kettenverträge"
https://www.swisslegal.ch/de/aktuell...epasst-19.html
This should help.
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Old 18.06.2020, 23:27
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Re: Regulations on the renewal of temporary contracts

It's not illegal per se, it's illegal to do it to avoid responsibilities related to length of service, e.g. notice period, sickness absence etc. but many people would be in the dark and possibly assume that the details in the contract still apply. If you work somewhere for two years on six month contracts, they can't for example give you notice as if you've only worked there for only six months. I believe they must also give you notice instead of relying on the end-date of the contract. This is how it's worked for a bunch of us for at least 5 years. The employer wants the workers to think they're still short term employees when in fact they're not.
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Old 19.06.2020, 22:09
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These kind of contracts are called: "Kettenverträge"
https://www.swisslegal.ch/de/aktuell...epasst-19.html
This should help.
Thank you very much! This is very helpful

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It's not illegal per se, it's illegal to do it to avoid responsibilities related to length of service, e.g. notice period, sickness absence etc. but many people would be in the dark and possibly assume that the details in the contract still apply. If you work somewhere for two years on six month contracts, they can't for example give you notice as if you've only worked there for only six months. I believe they must also give you notice instead of relying on the end-date of the contract. This is how it's worked for a bunch of us for at least 5 years. The employer wants the workers to think they're still short term employees when in fact they're not.
I see. Thank you for your explanation I guess there's not much employees can do about it.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.06.2020 at 22:37. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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