Remuneration during sick leave

If the employee, by no fault of his own, is prevented from performing work for reasons inherent in his person, such as illness or accident, the employer shall pay the normal salary for a limited period of time, provided that the employment relationship has existed or was concluded for a period of more than three months.

According to Swiss law, the employer shall pay the salary for three weeks of time for the first year of employment and thereafter for an appropriate longer time, which depends on the length of the contractual relationship.

To determine the appropriate longer time, Geneva courts usually apply the “Bern scale”, which provides that the employer must pay to the employee the contractual wages for one month if the contract had run for one to two years, for two months if the contract had run for two to four years, for three months if the contract had run for four to nine years, and so on.

Alternatively, the employer may conclude, as is very often the case, insurance for the continuance of salary payments, as long as such a solution is at least as beneficial to the employee as the statutory rules described above.

To be considered as equivalent to the statutory provisions, such insurance should cover at least 80% of the employee’s salary during a period of time of 720 days, whereby no payment is owed for the first three days of an illness.

Under these conditions, the payment of the insurance premiums may be split equally between the employer and the employee.

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This website aims to provide general information regarding Swiss law and should not be regarded as a legal opinion. For more specific advice, do not hesitate to contact us.