21 May, 2024 by Marianne Favre Moreillon

The subtleties of public holidays

21 May, 2024 by Marianne Favre Moreillon
Public holidays are often eagerly awaited by workers to benefit from extra time off or extended weekends. They also raise a number of questions concerning their remuneration, or when they fall during an employee's period of illness or vacation.

The purpose of public holidays is to allow the celebration of religious holidays or the commemoration of historical or social events. Not all employees are entitled to holiday pay. Is an employee entitled to time off in lieu when the holiday falls on a day that is not normally worked, during an incapacity to work or during vacation? What about part-time workers?

This article covers the following topics: 

  • purpose of public holidays
  • prohibition to work on a public holiday and on Sundays
  • public holidays applicable when the employee does not work in the canton where the employer is based
  • entitlement to wages on public holidays
  • situation of part-time, hourly or task-based employees
  • public holiday falling on a Sunday
  • holiday occurring during an incapacity to work
  • holiday that falls during a vacation period

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