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Terminating the employment relationship

If the relationship between the employer and the employee is not regulated by a fixed-term contract, either party may terminate the contract at any time. However, when terminating a contract, a certain period of notice must be given.

Content of the notice letter

If not otherwise specified in the employment contract, the contract can be terminated orally. For evidentiary purposes, however, you should send a notice letter by registered mail. If you deliver the letter personally, ask for an acknowledgement of receipt on a copy of the letter for confirmation.

Termination is only effective once the letter of termination has been received by the employer. The letter must reach your employer on the last workday of the month at the latest.

The written notice must:

  • Contain correct information about the employee and the employer (name, address). Make sure the written notice reaches your employer’s personnel department or your line manager.
  • Specify the employment contract that you are terminating (Employment contract of …)
  • Indicate the termination date (usually for the end of the month - check the period of notice).
  • Be signed and dated.

You are not required to state why you are choosing to leave.

Download a template notice letter
MS Word
16 kb

Periods of notice

Make sure that the period of notice agreed in the employment contract was observed. If there is no written employment contract and no collective employment agreement, the period of notice is regulated by the Code of Obligations (CO). It comprises:

  • 7 calendar days during the trial period (as of the end of any day)
  • 1 month during the first year of service (as of the end of a given month)
  • 2 months from the 2nd to the 9th year of service (as of the end of a given month)
  • 3 months from the 10th year of service (as of the end of a given month)
  • Fixed term employment contracts end on a fixed date. It is not possible to terminate a fixed-term employment contract before the stated date, unless the contract provides for an early termination or good cause exists.

Employers must guarantee employees protection from termination for the duration of military, civilian or civil defence service, and in the event of illness, accident or pregnancy. Employees can still give notice during this time.