9 Sep, 2022 by Marianne Favre Moreillon

The rigor of the work certificate

9 Sep, 2022 by Marianne Favre Moreillon

The work certificate is crucial when looking for a new job in Switzerland. Its drafting requires juggling with the unavoidable but contradictory principles of benevolence and veracity.

The purpose of the work certificate is to promote the economic future of the employee insofar as it must reflect as true an image as possible of the latter to a future employer.

The drafting of the work certificate must focus on the quality of the work and the behavior of the worker. The employer must write a work certificate in a benevolent and truthful manner. In practice, the principles of benevolence and truthfulness can be contradictory. Reconciling them is tricky. In what circumstances can the formulations "complete satisfaction" and "full and complete satisfaction" be required by the worker?

If the employee is ill, this should only be mentioned in the work certificate under restrictive conditions.

This article develops the following topics:

Purpose of the work certificate ;

  • The right of the employee to obtain a truthful work certificate;
  • Content of the work certificate ;
  • Description of the quality of the work and the behavior of the employee;
  • Limits to editorial freedom;
  • Liability of the employer in case of a falsely complimentary work certificate;
  • Mention of the worker's illness in the medical certificate. 

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