Payroll and Benefits Guide Switzerland – Geneva

Last updated: Aug 29, 2023

Swiss Franc (CHF)
Employer Taxes
10.463% to 14.463% + 31 CHF per employee
Payroll Frequency
Employee Costs
Date Format
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December



Employer Payroll Contributions

10.463% to 14.463% + 31 CHF per employee Total Employment Cost


Old Age, Survivors, Disability Insurance


Unemployment Insurance (maximum 148,200 CHF)


Supplementary Unemployment Insurance (above 148,200 CHF)


Family Compensation Fund


Maternity Insurance


Early Childhood Contribution

31 CHF per employee

Vocational training Fund

1.00% to 4.00%

Occupational Accident Insurance – Contribution percentage varies based on the insurance provider as well as the degree of risk that the employee is exposed to.


Employee Payroll Contributions

7.168% Total Employee Cost




Unemployment Insurance


Supplemental Unemployment Insurance


Maternity Insurance


Income Compensation


Non-Occupational Accident Insurance – Contribution percentage varies based on the insurance provider as well as the degree of risk that the employee is exposed to.

Employee Income Tax


17,663 or Less (Geneva Cantonal Tax)


































More than 615,022

Employer taxes


Employee taxes


Minimum Wage


Switzerland has no national minimum wage. However, minimum wages can be established by way of collective bargaining agreements, or by canton ruling, for example:

Canton wage level (per hour):

Geneva – 24 CHF

Basel City – 21 CHF

Neuchâtel – 20.08 CHF

Jura – 20 CHF

Ticino – 19 CHF

Winterthur – 23 CHF

Zurich – 23.90 CHF




Payroll Cycle

Employees must be paid monthly by the last working day, however, the pay date is typically by the 25th of the month.

13th Salary

A 13th salary is not compulsory, but it is very common and, if due, will be outlined in the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement.

Working Hours


A 40-44 hour workweek is common, dependent on collective bargaining agreement in place. Working hours are calculated on a yearly basis, provided that the certain cumulative conditions are met.

Geneva: Contractually agreed working hours are 40 or 42 hours per week. Depending on the field of work, the maximum number of working hours per week is either 45 or 50 hours.


Geneva: Overtime work is compensated at 125% of the regular pay rate (capped at 2 hours per day), or time off is given in lieu of payment.

Working Week



Paid Time Off

Employees over the age of 20 and under 50 receive 4 weeks of paid holiday. Under the age of 20 and over 50 receive 5 weeks of paid holiday. The annual leave cycle is the calendar year. Carryover of vacation days is permitted, the carryover policy is determined by the employer. Unused vacation days are paid out upon termination of employment.

Vacation Days
Public Holidays

Public Holidays

Most public holidays are set by each individual canton.

Public holidays that fall on the weekend are usually lost.

Sick Days

All employees are entitled to paid sick leave based on the number of years of continuous employment. During the first year of employment, the employee receives up to 3 weeks of paid sick leave.

Alternatively, employers and employees may agree to opt for a daily benefits insurance scheme where employees will receive up to 80% of their last salary for a maximum of 720 days. the employee is required to provide a doctor’s note.

Maternity Leave

Maternity allowance is given to employees who have contributed to the OASI for at least 9 months preceding the delivery and have worked for at least five months.
Mothers (both full-time and part-time employees) are paid 80% of their wages in the form of a daily allowance for 98 days (up to a maximum cap of SFr 196 per day).

However, Geneva law provides an additional two weeks, amounting to a total of 16 weeks. The employee is required to provide the birth certificate.



Paternity Leave

Fathers in Switzerland are entitled to 10 days of paid paternity leave and federal employees will now be entitled to 4 weeks of paternity leave. This leave can either be taken either on a weekly basis (weekends included) or on the basis of individual days.

As is the case with maternity leave, weekends are included in the compensation. Consequently, the father has 14 daily allowances and is entitled to a total of 10 days off work. The paternity leave must be taken within six months of the birth of the child and the employee is required to provide the birth certificate.

Paternity leave benefits will equal 80% of the employee’s average salary prior to the baby’s birth but will be capped at a total of CHF220 per day.

Parental Leave

There are no statutory laws on parental leave.

Other Leave

Care leave: 14 weeks of paid leave to provide care for a seriously ill or injured child. The employee is required to provide a doctor’s certificate.

Death leave: The law does not specifically define how many hours or days an employee can take off in case of a relative’s death. Employers may decide this. Normally, three days to five days are given in case of close relatives and one to three days in other cases.

Wedding leave:  The law does not specifically define how many hours or days an employee can take off in case of a wedding. Employers may decide this. Normally one to three days are given.


Termination Process

Termination in Switzerland has the principle of freedom of dismissal, making it possible to terminate a contract of employment without there being an important reason, provided that such termination is not discriminatory or abusive. The reason for the dismissal must be explained when the other party requests it. Even if the dismissal is valid through oral termination, it is advisable to do so in writing for evidentiary purposes.

Notice Period

Termination is considered legally valid from the moment the recipient receives it.
The statutory notice periods are as follows:

  • 7 days during the trial period
  • 1 month during the first year of service
  • 2 months during the second to the ninth year of service
  • 3 months from the tenth year of service

Alternatively, the parties can contractually agree on a notice period. Notice begins at the end of the calendar month. Garden leave can be utilized during this period.
A fixed-term employment contract ends upon the expiry of the agreed period.

Severance Pay

Severance pay is stipulated within the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement. In addition, the statutory severance payment is only applicable to employees of at least 50 years of age who have completed at least 20 years of employment and provided there is a shortfall in pension benefits. Due to this last condition, this statutory entitlement is very rare. The severance payment due in this instance is calculated at between two and eight months’ pay.

Probation Period

The probation period is 1-3 months for indefinite employees.

Common Benefits


  • Mobile phone allowance
  • Work from home allowance



In Switzerland, there are two ways you can obtain a residence permit. This permit grants the permission to work in Switzerland:
A citizen of an EU member state or a citizen of the European Free Trade Association (and can enter Switzerland for 3-6 months while they search for a job):

  • L (short-term resident): This is a permit valid from 3-12 months for individuals that have a valid employment contract.
  • B (resident foreign nationals): This permit is for foreign nationals that have a valid employment contract for at least 12 months. This permit is valid for up to 5 years and can be extended automatically if the duration of the employment is extended.
  • C (settled foreign nationals): This permit is valid indefinitely after one has resided in Switzerland for 5 uninterrupted years.
  • G (cross-border nationals): For citizens who work in Switzerland but reside in a different country. Cross-border commuters must return home at least once a week.

Note that the EU Blue Card is not valid in Switzerland.

Non-EU/EFTA nationals: When an EU/EFTA citizen cannot be hired for a job, a company can extend a job offer to a third-party national. The employer must be able to show that they have made efforts to hire an EU/EFTA or any individual that already resides in Switzerland and must be able to show why the candidate was not fit for the job. For non-EU/EFTA nationals, permits L, B, and C can be applied for.

However, there is no limit to how long it may take to obtain the work permit.



VAT is 7.7% standard rate.

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

October 30, 2022
Paternity leave has been updated.
July 1, 2021
14-week period of paid leave to provide care for seriously ill or injured children.
January 1, 2021
Fathers are now allowed 10 days of paid paternity leave.
November 2, 2020
Hourly minimum wage was implemented November 1, 2020. Previously, there was no minimum wage.

Questions & Answers

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Henry B
Henry B
1 year ago

What are some common benefits employers can provide that are non-mandatory?

Erez Greenberg
Erez Greenberg
1 year ago
Reply to  Henry B

It is common for employers to provide a mobile home allowance and a work-from-home allowance.

2 months ago

is it customary for employers to contribute to 2nd pillar pension funds and how much does this cost?

Download this guide to read later

Payroll and Benefits Guide in Switzerland – Geneva

Download Free Guide

See how Papaya can help you automate your global payroll or EoR whilst staying 100% compliant with local labor laws

The information provided in the Papaya Global Web site is provided for informational purposes only. The materials are general in nature; they are not offered as advice on a particular matter and should not be relied on as such. Use of this Web site does not constitute a legal contract or consulting relationship between Papaya Global and any person or entity. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Papaya Global makes no guarantees of any kind. Papaya Global reserves the right to change the content of this site at any time without prior notice. Papaya Global is not responsible for any third party material that can be accessed through this Web site. The materials contained on this Web site are the copyrighted property of Papaya Global unless a separate copyright notice is placed on the material. Papaya Global grants each user a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to access and download, display and print one copy of the content of this Web site on a single computer solely for internal, business use, provided that the user does not modify the site content in any way and that all copyright and other notices displayed on the site content are retained. Other reproduction, distribution, republication and re-transmission of materials contained within this Web site require Papaya Global’s prior permission.
Download this guide to read later

Payroll and Benefits Guide
in Switzerland – Geneva

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

And more...

Download free guide
All questions are answered by our in-house compliance department working in conjunction with our local in-country partner for this specific country

Public Holidays Calendar

Switzerland – Geneva 2023
Day Date Holiday Notes
Sunday Jan-1 New Year
Monday Jan-2 Berchtold’s Day Aargau, Bern, Fribourg, Glarus, Jura, Luzern, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Thurgau, Vaud
Friday Jan-6 Epiphany Graubunden, Luzern, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri
Wednesday Mar-1 Republic Day Neuchatel
Sunday Mar-19 St Joseph’s Day Graubunden, Luzern, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri, Valais
Friday Apr-7 Good Friday Aargau,Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft,Basel-stadt, Bern, Fribourg,Geneva, Glarus, Graubunden, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel,  Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, St. Gallen,  Thurgau, Uri, Vaud, Zug. Zurich
Monday Apr-10 Easter Monday Aargau,Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden,  Basel-Landschaft, Basel-stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Glarus, Graubunden, Jura, Luzern,  Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz,  St. Gallen, Ticino, Thurgau, Uri, Vaud, Zurich
Thursday Apr-13 Nafelser Fahrt Glarus
Monday May-1 Labour Day Basel-Landschaft, Basel-stadt, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Schaffhausen, Solothurn,  Thurgau, Ticino, Zurich
Thursday May-18 Ascension Day
Monday May-29 Whit Monday Aargau,Appenzell Ausserrhoden,Appenzell Innerrhoden,Basel-Landschaft, Basel-stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Glarus, Graubunden, Jura, Luzern, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz,  St. Gallen,  Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Vaud, Zurich
Thursday Jun-8 Corpus Christi Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg, Graubunden, jura, Luzern,  Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Vaud
Friday Jun-23 Independence of Jura Jura
Thursday Jun-29 St Peter & St Paul Graubunden, Ticino
Tuesday Aug-1 National Day
Tuesday Aug-15 Assumption Day Aargau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg,Jura, Luzern,  Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Vaud
Thursday Sep-7 Jeune genevois Geneva
Monday Sep-18 Ascension Day Vaud
Friday Sep-22 St Mauritius Appenzell Innerrhoden
Monday Sep-25 Brother Klaus Festival Obwalden
Wednesday Nov-1 All Saints’ Day Appenzell Innerrhoden,Fribourg, Glarus,Jura, Luzern,  Nidwalden,  Obwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn,  St. Gallen, Ticino, Uri, Valais
Wednesday Nov-8 All Saints’ Day Zug
Friday Dec-8 Immaculate Conception Aargau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg, Graubunden, Luzern,  Nidwalden,  Obwalden, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Zug
Sunday Dec-24 Christmas Eve Glarus
Monday Dec-25 Christmas Day
Tuesday Dec-26 St Stephen’s Day Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-stadt,Bern, Fribourg, Glarus, Graubunden, jura, Luzern,  Nidwalden,  Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz,  St. Gallen,  Thurgau,Uri,  Ticino, Zurich
Sunday Dec-31 New Year’s Eve Glarus