Collective agreements (COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS) set mandatory working conditions and wages for entire sectors or individual companies. In addition, workers are entitled to days off to attend to personal affairs for family events such as death, serious illness, marriage of a close relative, birth of a child or search for new work (Article 329.3 OR). The precise conditions are often set by collective agreements. As a rule, they plan one to three days of vacation for a family event, depending on the species. Annual wage negotiations relate to the increase in individual real wages and, where appropriate, the increase in wages set out in the agreement, generally defined as minimum wages. In practice, there are many possibilities for increasing real wages which can also be combined: this includes a general increase, either as a percentage or as a percentage or according to the amounts for all employees; a differentiated increase according to salary scales; and an increase in the wage bill, which is then distributed individually in the company. Can binding arbitration/dispute settlement agreements be implemented? In some sectors, the traditional separation of employees and workers is maintained and there is separate collective bargaining for these categories of workers. In others, such as the metallurgical and mechanical industry, there is only one collective agreement for all categories of workers. In the event of collective redundancies, the employer may terminate the employment contracts with a period of 30 days (Article 335d CO).

The employer is also obliged to consult the workers` representatives before dismissal and to inform the cantonal employment agency. Collective agreements are usually concluded for a period of two to five years. In the meantime, annual salary negotiations are underway in the autumn, during which wage increases for the beginning of the following year and, if necessary, other elements of remuneration will be negotiated. In exceptional cases, collective agreements of more than one year are concluded. But this model will probably soon be ancient history….