The number and dates of public holidays varies depending on each Swiss canton. Besides the National Day (August 1st), all cantons have at least 8 public holidays. In Geneva, 9 public holidays exist: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Whitsun, Swiss National Day, Geneva Prayday (first Thursday of September), Christmas and Restoration of the Republic Geneva (December 31st).
The employer has to give 1-day break per week to the employee. In principle, Sunday is used for this very purpose (at least every other week). If the employee agrees, the employer may provide two half-days break instead of one or even group them (art. 329 §2 CO).
After giving birth, women are entitled to a 14 weeks maternity leave during which they receive at least 80% of their income. In Geneva, this period is of 16 weeks (art. 16e LAPG).
Pregnant or breastfeeding women may work only if they consent to. They are entitled to leave work or stay home based on a simple notification. However, in such circumstances, the employer does not have to pay the contractual salary, unless otherwise agreed.
Currently, the opportunity to broaden the scope of beneficiaries of such a birth leave to fathers and caregivers is under discussion.
It’s also important to note that the employer must occupy pregnant women in a manner that preserves their own health and those of their children. For example, the employer must adjust conditions of work to avoid them undertaking dangerous activities or occupations that require strenuous physical exertion.
The employer also has to grant hours/day break to the employee when exceptional personal events occur (ex. birth, medical appointments, death…). In case of a part-time job, the employee should rather take his/her appointments during his/her free time.
Also, when the employee’s child is sick, the employer has to allow him/her a break period of 3 days maximum, if the employee presents a medical certificate (art. 36 §3 LTr).
Break days also have to be granted to the employee when he is looking for a job, as soon as the contract is terminated.