How many weeks?
Regardless of whether you work full or part-time, you are entitled to at least four weeks’ vacation per year.
Up to the age of 20, you are entitled to at least five weeks’ vacation.
However, if your employer agrees, or under a collective employment agreement, you may be given even more vacation time.
When can you take your vacation days?
You need your employer’s approval to take time off. If your holidays are not compatible with the needs or interests of the company, your boss can ask you to change them.
Vacation time and illness
The purpose of vacation time is to allow you to rest. If, during your vacation, you fall ill or have a serious accident that prevents you from relaxing, you are entitled to postpone your vacation provided you present a medical certificate.
Taking vacation when you are about to quit your job
Generally, if you have given notice that you are quitting your job, you can take any outstanding days of vacation during the period of notice. However, your employer can refuse to allow you to take time off if you are needed at work because of an exceptional situation.
In some cases, you can agree with your employer on a cash payment in lieu of any remaining vacation days.
The first of August – Swiss national day – is Switzerland’s only national public holiday.
The cantons can each have up to eight additional public holidays on their territory. Public holidays can thus vary from canton to canton.
If a public holiday falls on a non-working day, such as a Saturday or Sunday, you cannot redeem the holiday time during the week.
If a public holiday falls during your vacation, that day does not count as a day of vacation.
In the cases listed below, you can take time off work without having to make up the hours/days that you are absent from work:
A court appearance or similar legal appointment
Public duties (working as a member of Parliament, local councillor, etc.)
Birth of your child
Death of a close relative
Care of a close relative
The law does not clearly define how many hours or days you can take off. Ask your employer about the rules that apply in your company.
Please note: if you are absent from work or get to work late for a non-work-related reason, such as a traffic jam or a cancelled train, your employer is not required to count the time lost as working hours and you will need to make them up.
On its website, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) provides FAQs and answers about public holidays and vacation days (these webpages are available in German, French and Italian).
For more information about public holidays in the different cantons, check the webpage Public holidays in the cantons.
On this webpage (available in German, French and Italian), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) provides FAQs and answers about absence from work.
For more information about taking time off work when your children are ill, see the page on extra family help.
For more information about vacation time during the notice period, see the page on termination of employment contract.