The probation period for open-ended contracts lasts one month, but your employer may offer you a shorter or longer probation period (up to a maximum of three months). In this case, you and your employer must have a written agreement.
There is no probation period required for fixed-term contracts, but the employee and employer may agree to have one.
Apprenticeship contracts may provide for a probation period of one to three months. In some cases, the probation period may last up to six months. However, the employer must ask the cantonal authority responsible for vocational education and training (information available in German, French and Italian).
The probation period must always be the same length of time for both the employer and the employee.
At the end of the probation period, employer and employee generally meet for a mutual appraisal interview to discuss the probation period and decide whether to continue the employment relationship.
Les contrats à durée déterminée ne prévoient pas de période d’essai, mais l’employé et l’employeur peuvent se mettre d’accord sur ce point.
If you are unable to work for a certain amount of time due to illness or accident, your employer may extend the probation period for an equivalent period.
The employer also has the right to terminate the employment contract in such a situation: during the probation period, you do not have the same protection against dismissal in the event of illness or accident that you do once definitively employed.
You can also be fired during the probation period if you are pregnant. However, it is important to know that you are never obligated to inform your employer that you are pregnant. You are free to decide when to communicate this information.
There is no clear rule regarding holiday time during the probation period. You must talk to your employer if you would like to take holiday time during this period.
If you already know at the time of the job interview that you plan to take an extended holiday during the probation period, it is best to inform your employer then so that you can find an agreement as soon as possible.
Employee and employer both have a notice period of seven calendar days during the probation period. A longer or shorter period can be agreed in the work contract, however.
You may terminate a contract at any time, as long as the employer/employee is informed of the termination by the last day of the probation period.
You can do this either verbally or in writing, as long as the work contract does not provide a clear statement on how notice should be given.
You are not required to state why you are terminating the contract, but the other party may ask you about your reasons.
For general information on employment law, visit the employment law web page or the relevant FAQs page provided by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) (available in German, French and Italian).
The web page on termination and the FAQs page from SECO (available in German, French and Italian) provide further information on this topic.