Sunday work


The usual working week of an employee is from Monday to Friday or even Saturday. Sunday work, on the other hand, is in principle not allowed in Switzerland because this day is often considered a day of rest.

However, Sunday work is widespread in specific professions, such as tourism, catering, health care and the hotel industry. Because of the impact of Sunday work on the social life of the employee, Sunday work is subject to special conditions.


Before implementing Sunday work, the employer must request authorization from the competent authorities. Such Sunday work will not be possible for certain employees, in particular for apprentices and young workers. The employer must also ensure that his employees do not work on Sundays without his permission.


Away from colleagues, it is sometimes not easy for the employee to stick to the usual working hours when telecommuting. They may have to work odd hours or take longer breaks. The employee is sometimes overwhelmed by files and finds it difficult to be effective.

In these cases, the employee sometimes takes the initiative to make up for lost time during the week by working on Sundays. The employer is required to take steps to prevent this from happening.

Out of the Office

Thanks to advances in technology and the digital age, it is possible for employees to work and check their work emails at any time, including Sundays. Sometimes it is not easy to distinguish between the true Sunday worker and the overzealous employee who checks his or her email on the weekend.

What if the employee checks his or her e-mail, gets a quick call from the employer, has to prepare a presentation for Monday morning or has to go on a business trip on Sunday? Is this Sunday work that the employer must compensate, possibly at a higher rate than the employee's normal salary?

Recording of working time

The employer is required to record the working time of his/her employees, including the duration of work, overtime, and the duration of breaks. Employees who work on Sundays are in a special situation. The employer must record more information about their working hours so that the authorities can verify that the legal provisions regarding working hours and breaks are being respected.

Shift work

Shift work occurs when work is split into several shifts, day, evening and night, and employees take turns at the same workstation. In principle, each employee participates in each schedule in rotation.

When employees work in shifts 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, shift work necessarily involves Sunday work. The company wishing to set up such a system must request authorization from the competent authorities. The employer must also respect specific rest periods because this mode of work can be particularly painful and damage the health of the employees. 

Top Articles

1 Mar, 2010 byMarianne Favre Moreillon