Change of workplace
When the employer and the employee enter into an employment contract, they must agree on all its essential elements. The place of work is, in principle, an essential condition of the employment contract. Therefore, in order to change it, the employer must obtain the consent of the employees concerned.
If the employer wishes to assign the employee to a new place of work, it is imperative that the specific procedure of the leave of absence be followed. Otherwise, the dismissal of an employee who has refused a change of workplace is likely to be considered abusive in the event of a dispute.
When the company moves and the workplace changes for a large number of employees, the employer must be vigilant. In certain circumstances, such changes may constitute a collective dismissal. The employer will have to comply with the legal provisions relating to such a termination.
Many employees, particularly executives, are required to travel on business in Switzerland or abroad. When traveling abroad, is the time spent on the train or plane considered as working time? What about the weekend spent on site or business meals? Does the employer have to pay for the transportation costs? These trips raise many questions about compensation and working hours.
Expatriation or secondment ?
The employer may want to assign one of its employees abroad for a certain period of time within a sister company. The latter will continue to be contractually bound to his employer in Switzerland while his place of work is temporarily moved abroad. Whether this is a secondment or an expatriation depends on the agreements in force between Switzerland and the country to which the employee is assigned.
Social security coverage
When an employee is seconded to a foreign country, which social security system is applicable? The agreement on freedom of movement provides for the legislation and the social insurance system applicable to the seconded employee. If the employee is expatriated to a country with which Switzerland has not concluded an agreement, the question is more delicate. The employee can, under certain conditions, ask to remain subject to and covered by the Swiss social security system.