An intended revision of Swiss employment law strives to allow the employer in the future and under certain circumstances to report illegal or unethical practices without jeopardizing the employee’s duty of good faith towards the employer.
The draft employment law further foresees that if an employee is given notice consequently to having acted as whistleblower the respective dismissal shall be declared abusive. Thus, a respective damage payment would be applicable.
The debates during the consultation (German: «Vernehmlassung») of the draft employment law as well as the consultation’s controversial ending caused another project for revision of the Swiss employment law according to which the fine as set out in art. 336a and art. 337c OR shall be increased from a maximum of six month’s salaries to a maximum of twelve month’s salaries. Even though the respective second project for revision of the Swiss employment law was encouraged by the first project for revision (whistleblowing issue), the respective aforementioned fine shall be equally applicable for all types of abusive dismissals as well as for wrongful termination without prior notice according to art. 337c VE-2010-OR. Thus, the protection of the employee against dismissal shall be increased in general.
By the time this article was being composed the results of the second revision’s consultation were not yet published. In the end it rests with the Federal Council to decide if and as the case may be to what extent both projects for revision of the Swiss employment law shall be included within the current Swiss law.
However and irrespective of how the projects for revision of the Swiss employment law will end it is advisable for employers to implement in-house detection systems in order to ensure that any deficits within the company will be primarily reported inhouse and not in public.
Publication in German.