Working in Switzerland

In Switzerland, salaries as well as the general terms and conditions of employment are governed by employment contracts signed between an employer and an employee. In sectors and businesses that also have a collective labour agreement (CLA), the provisions of the relevant CLA must be complied with.

Employment contracts

Unia is a social partner in nearly 250 collective labour agreements (CLAs), and regularly negotiates with the employers of the respective industry and/or company. In concrete terms, this means: No protection without a CLA. Because Swiss law does not stipulate a general minimum wage, if there is no CLA, then employers are free to define workers’ salaries at will.


Special rules apply to non-Swiss employees in some industries. The Swiss government provides online information in English concerning laws of employment, residence and social security.