Switzerland Leave Laws

In this page, we’ll break down all you need to know about leave laws in Switzerland.

Read on to learn about employees’ rights in regards to paid time off/annual leave, sick leave, parental leave, national/public holidays, and more.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.


Employees in Switzerland are entitled to at least four weeks of vacation time per year, whether working part-time or full-time.

Employees under the age of 20 receive at least five weeks of vacation time per year.

PTO Payout & Use It or Lose It

PTO generally does not carry over to the following year – employees must use it within 12 months of when it is provided, and an employer cannot pay their employees in lieu of granting time off.

Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

Sick Leave in Switzerland

Employees in Switzerland are entitled to at least 30 days of sick leave.

Employees are protected from being dismissed while on sick leave for a certain length of time.

Sick leave is generally paid.

Switzerland Public Holidays

Switzerland has only one national public holiday, which is August 1 (Swiss National Day).

However, each canton (administrative division/county) has their own public holiday schedule. On top of Swiss National Day, employees get eight days off per year for regional public holidays, during which the employee gets a paid day off from work.

Public holidays do not transfer to another day if falling on a non-working day (e.g. Saturday or Sunday).

Holiday Pay

If an employee works on a public holiday, they are entitled to time and a half (150% of their regular pay rate).

Parental Leave in Switzerland (Maternity Leave & Paternity Leave)

Employees are entitled to 98 days or 14 weeks of maternity leave. Maternity leave benefits are paid at 80% of your regular salary (to a maximum of CHF 220 per day).

Maternity leave starts on the day the baby is born. Maternity leave can also be extended for an additional two weeks (unpaid) following the initial 14 week period.

The father or wife of the mother is also entitled to paternity leave/second parent leave.

Paternity leave/second parent leave is two weeks or 14 days, paid at 80% of the employee’s regular salary (to a maximum of CHF 195 per day).

Paternity leave/second parent leave can be taken at any time in the six months following birth, and can be taken in parts or all at once.

Adoption Leave

Adoptive parents are entitled to up to two weeks or 14 days of adoption leave, paid at 80% of regular salary (to a maximum of CHF 220 per day).

This allowance is shared between both parents, and can be split up as the parents wish. It must be taken within a year of the child’s birth.

Bereavement Leave in Switzerland

Employees are entitled to be absent from work for the funeral of a family member. The law doesn’t state, however, whether bereavement leave must be paid, and how long employees are entitled to be off work.

What is Bereavement Leave? Click here to learn more.

Other Leave Types

Unpaid Leave

Switzerland leave laws state that employees are entitled to time off work for the following cases:

It does not define how long the absence can be, or if it is required to be paid – both are up to the company to decide.

Official Resources




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