Temporary Jobs in Switzerland – Lawyer’s Advice

Posted on 18 November 2007 by LegalBeagle

“I registered with a placement agency and signed a contract. What happens if I find a regular job as a result of this and the company they rent me to wants to hire me? Do I stay legally liable to the agency that rented me to the company in the first place?” Lionel, Geneva.

Temporary or Interim work has a special legal status in Switzerland.

In fact, the worker is bound by an employment contract to the agency which rents temporary workers to its enterprise clientele. And on the other hand, the worker is in no way bound to the actual company at which he is working who is renting the temporary staff from the agency, even though that is where he goes to work !

The Swiss federal laws governing temporary jobs in Switzerland – the rental of temp workers and what is referred to as ‘location de service’ – LES- or rental of services, governs this type of employment relationship. The LES delineates a certain number of measures that must be respected in this type of employment relationship.

First, the contract between the agency renting temporary workers and the worker must be in written form and contain, among other things, the type of work to be furnished, the length of engagement, and the working hours.

Accorsing to article 20 LES, if the company which is renting the services from the agency has a collective labor contract with its own permanent staff, the agency which is renting the services (workers) must apply the same working conditions (notably salary, working hours, and insurances) in force in the client company’s collective labor agreement.

Finally, the agency cannot by law prevent you taking a permanent job, concluding an employment contract directly with the client company if they decide to offer you regular employment.

Article 19 al. 5 letter b LES clearly stipulates that any clause which can prevent the employee / worker or create obstacles for the employee / worker from being employed by the client company – the ‘renter’ of the agency’s services – once the agency’s contract duration has ended, is null and void. The same holds true for any clauses concluded ; the company renting the temporary workers must be legally able to directly hire the worker at the end of the services contract.

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