Thirteenth salary


At the end of the year, employees look forward to the thirteenth salary to contribute to the year-end expenses such as Christmas dinner or gift buying.  The payment of the thirteenth salary is in principle mandatory. In very specific situations, the employer may reduce or eliminate the amount.


The employee may be absent for part of the year due to an incapacity to work, sabbatical leave or release from work. Under certain conditions, the employer may reduce or even cancel the employee's 13th salary.


Following economic difficulties, in particular due to the strong franc or the Covid-19 crisis, some employers are tempted to cancel the thirteenth salary in order to improve their financial situation. Such a procedure is delicate. The employer must respect the procedure and the conditions of the modification-leave.


An employee finds him/herself in a difficult financial situation and can no longer pay his or her rent or bills. Under certain conditions, he/she may request an advance on his/her thirteenth salary.

Absence of payment

In specific situations, the employer is tempted not to pay the thirteenth salary to the employee. This may be the case if the company is experiencing economic difficulties, if the employee's performance is unsatisfactory or if the employee has been dismissed during the year, either in the normal way or with immediate effect.

Does the employer have the right to cancel the thirteenth salary for these reasons? 

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1 Mar, 2010 byMarianne Favre Moreillon