In Switzerland, a mere hint could constitute immediate dismissal

The latest figures published by Seco, the State secretariat for the economy, are excellent. In a month, in Switzerland, the percentage of unemployed has decreased from 3.3 % to 3.1 %. There are only 139 778 people in search of a job. These figures, which are the dreams in the Hexagon, hold to the good health of the swiss economy, but also to legislation that pushes employers to hire easily, because they know that they can dismiss them just as quickly. In the Confederation, in the matter of the employment contract, the employer may indeed terminate the contract ” following a period of specific prior notice, and without the existence of the grounds “.

In other words, an employer can throw you to the street with for the simple reason of a ” loss of confidence “. It is easier than you accuse them of being negligent, or to arrive too late. For example, in a publication in Lausanne, a journalist, approaching sixty, is preparing to celebrate its thirty years of seniority in the company in the month. He sits down in the morning to his office. Impossible to turn on his computer. He is concerned about what he believes to be a technical problem with a secretary. The latter handed him a letter. Without having previously had any explanation with her editor-in-chief, the journalist learns that he or she is licensed, with four months notice, and that he must immediately go away.

Without proving the facts

It was hitherto the rule. The boss was dropping the employee from one day to the next day by giving him three or four months of salary. Sometimes, in front of the prud’hommes, he could be forced to show a little more generous. The penalty of up to six months, particularly when the employer could not justify the accusations against his former employee. On termination of employment, the employment contract referred to a concept rather fuzzy ” certainty proven “.

The federal Court, the highest court in switzerland, deviates now the principle is this : the suspicion is sufficiently strong may justify immediate dismissal, ” even though the employer has tried in vain to prove the facts complained of “. This goes even further : according to the professor of geneva, Gabriel Aubert, former substitute judge at the federal Court, ” the employee is not entitled to his wages, or compensation for immediate dismissal unjustified, but, if necessary, to a lump-sum compensation fixed in equity “. It should read : “if necessary “…

To the unemployment insurance fund to pay the notice

This lawyer, specialist in labour law and social security advises, of course, to the employer, who feels suspicion, to conduct a thorough investigation before you get rid of a collaborator. And enable them to defend themselves. Despite everything, ” if the inquiry was serious, and gives substance to the suspicion, although lacks evidence of the facts complained of, the leave is not abusive “, he wrote in the daily Le Temps Lausanne.

To be clear, the new case-law considers that suspicion, even ill-founded, may nevertheless justify an immediate dismissal ! This also means that this is no longer the company that pays for three or four months notice, but the unemployment insurance. That is to say, the society, the taxpayers.

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