Coronavirus COVID-19: Employment Law: Short Time Work and Compensation for Loss of Earnings

by Valerie Meyer Bahar, Livia Keller, Annina Fey

The new coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading rapidly all over the world and in Switzerland. On 16 March 2020, the Federal Council declared that Switzerland faces an “extraordinary situation” (state of emergency) in terms of article 7 of the Epidemics Act of 28 September 2012 and ordered drastic measures: Shops (with the exception of grocery stores), restaurants, bars, and entertainment and leisure facilities must remain closed until 19 April 2020; school attendance is suspended.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken by the authorities pose major challenges for employers and employees. On 20 and 25 March 2020, the Federal Council took various measures to mitigate the economic consequences for the affected companies and employees.

This newsletter contains an overview over the measures taken by the Federal Council (as of 26 March 2020) in connection with i) short-time work and ii) further compensation for loss of earnings. These measures were put into effect retroactively as of 17 March 2020 and shall remain in force for six months.