How To Write a Resignation Letter in Switzerland

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about four million people have quit their jobs worldwide in the last two years alone, Switzerland included. A respectful resignation letter informing your employer that you’re leaving the company is critical in Switzerland; it creates a long-term professional connection and opens doors for future opportunities.

Your resignation letter in Switzerland should include your correct name and address and that of your employer, the date of termination and resignation, and your signature. You don’t have to state a reason for termination unless your employer requires it.

In this article, we look into what a resignation letter is, how to write it, and the format of writing one. We also go through how you can submit your resignation letter in Switzerland and conclude by looking into essential things that you ought to know about termination of employment.

Learn how to quit a job in Switzerland in this guide.

Format of the resignation letter in Switzerland

In Switzerland, a resignation letter allows you to end your employment contract and set a departure date formally. 

Swiss law doesn’t have any rules regarding resignation; therefore, you can announce the termination of an employment contract orally. In this case, you must justify the termination in writing if the employer requests (Art. 335 Para. 2 OR).

It’s advisable to have tangible proof of the resignation through a letter. It proves that you notified your employer of the concession and your resignation date. Additionally, it helps you better defend yourself in the event of a dispute in the future.

There is no specific way of writing a letter of resignation in Switzerland. However, to avoid any conflict, ensure your letter has the following:

  • Your name and address
  • The employment contract that you are terminating 
  • Title of your current position
  • The date of the resignation and the date of the termination notice 
  • Your signature

You are free to indicate the reason for your resignation in the letter. However, you must consider it as a formal document and not as a support for your complaints.

Sample of resignation letter for Switzerland

Full name

Address

Postal code and city

Email address and telephone

                                                                                    Human Resources Department

                                                                                   Complete address

                                                                                   Postal code and city

                                                                                 Date and place 

                                                                                  

Termination of my employment contract from (date)

Dear (Your supervisor’s name),

I have been working for (company name) since (date of signing the contract), which has allowed me to learn a lot with very supportive and professional colleagues. However, other projects call me and will offer me the opportunity to acquire new knowledge.

Therefore, it is with great regret that I submit my resignation as (title of your current position). I will leave on (date) after giving (number) days’ notice.

Thank you for your understanding, please accept, Madam, Sir, the expression of my highest consideration.

Signature

The German version

Vorname Name (Your full name)

Strasse und Hausnummer (Address)

PLZ und Wohnort (Postal code and city)

E-Mail-Adresse und Telefonnummer (email address and telephone)

Adresse des Arbeitgebers (Company)

z.Hd. Personalabteilung/Vorgesetze(r) (Receiver name)

Strasse und Hausnummer (Address)

PLZ und Ort (Postal code and city)

Ort und Datum (Place and date)

Kündigung meines Arbeitsvertrages vom (Datum)

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren (oder Name des/der Vorgesetzen)

Hiermit kündige ich meinen Arbeitsvertrag vom (Ausstelldatum des Arbeitsvertrags) unter Berücksichtigung der geltenden Kündigungsfrist per (Datum unter Einbezug der Kündigungsfrist).

Ich bitte Sie, den Erhalt der Kündigung schriftlich zu bestätigen.

Vielen Dank für Ihre Kenntnisname. 

Freundliche Grüsse

Signature

Download example here.

How to write a resignation letter in Switzerland?

Resigning in Switzerland is pretty simple; all you need is to hand your employer a letter of resignation and respect the notice period imposed by Swiss law. At times, you don’t need to give notice; this is if you are working in the CDI (contract indeterminé ). 

When writing your resignation letter, write it in your workplace language. Make it as short as possible; don’t provide a long-winded explanation of why you are quitting. Instead, be professional, direct, and outline only the critical information about your resignation.

Helpful tips for writing a resignation letter in Switzerland

1. Be professional and positive

A resignation letter is not an avenue to insult, complain, or criticize your employer or colleagues. Address everyone professionally and be as positive as possible.

2. Go straight to the point

Mention that you are resigning in the first sentence or paragraph.

3. State the specific date you plan to stop working

4. Seek legal advice

If there are any unique circumstances why you are leaving the job, seek professional legal advice from a lawyer. 

5. Provide information about the transition

For instance, offer to help finish specific tasks and projects before your last day.

6. Proofread and spell-check your letter before submitting it to reflect your seriousness.

Things to avoid in your resignation letter

When writing your resignation letter in Switzerland, avoid the following:

  • Writing a very long letter (stick to less than a page)
  • Explaining why you are leaving unless requested by your employer
  • Boasting about your future plans
  • Talking negatively about the job, company, or colleagues

How to submit your resignation letter?

Your resignation is only valid after your employer has received it. You can send your letter by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt or deliver it personally.

1. Hand delivering your resignation letter in Switzerland

In Switzerland, hand delivery of resignation letters is the most common method since it’s faster, cheaper, and less impersonal. 

Write the letter of resignation in duplicate and submit it against receipt. Before submitting your letter, write this statement at the top: “Letter delivered by hand in two copies against discharge.”

Ensure that your employer signs and dates both copies and hands you one; your notice period starts on the day of signature, holidays included. 

When submitting your letter by hand, you can take that opportunity to discuss with your employer the reasons why you are resigning. These reasons could be, for example, entrepreneurial projects or parental leave.

This will enable your employer to be aware of the issue and help you leave on good terms, which can be helpful later when looking for a job

If your employer is not available, you can submit your letter to a third party, such as a lawyer, a human resources officer, or an employee with the mandate to receive administrative documents on behalf of the employer.

2. Sending a letter of resignation by mail

Another method of submitting a resignation letter in Switzerland is a letter of resignation by mail. Therefore, this method can take some time, so it’s wise to start the process on time.

When sending your resignation letter by mail, your notice period runs from the date of receiving the mail 48 hours after the mailing. Just like in-hand delivery, holidays don’t impact the notice period.

Confirmation from the employer?

In Switzerland, your employer isn’t obligated to inform you whether they have received a notice or not. However, if you ask for it in the resignation letter, they should confirm receipt.

Termination of employment Switzerland: what you need to know

In Switzerland, there is the principle of termination, which governs employment contracts. This means that an employee or employer can terminate a working relationship without reason. However, there are rules to be observed depending on the contract. 

Trial period

In Switzerland, unless otherwise agreed by the employer or employee, the trial period is one month. Either party can waive the trial period or extend it to three months. During the trial period, the employer or employee can freely terminate the contract but give a seven-day notice period.

Fixed-term contracts

A fixed-term contract automatically terminates when the term expires. These contacts can’t be ended earlier. Unless agreed otherwise, there is no specific period that either the employer or employee needs to observe. 

Permanent contracts

In Switzerland, the employee or employer can terminate a permanent contract for any reason and at any time. However, they have to observe a given notice period, which depends on the length of their working relationship. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the following periods of notice apply:

  • One month during the first year of work
  • Two months from two to nine years of work
  • Three months from ten years of work

The deadlines above refer to the last day of the month. For example, if you resign on 21st February and your notice period is one month, you will need to work till 31st March. You can agree on the notice period with your employer, but it has to be more than a month.

Learn how to terminate your job in Switzerland in this guide.

https://russianvagabond.com/how-to-quit-a-job-in-switzerland-in-a-right-way/

Abusive termination in Switzerland

In Switzerland, according to Art. 336a, termination has abusive motives if it’s:

  1. As a result of compulsory community service, (Swiss) military service, or civil defense service 
  2. Due to a property that the other party is entitled to due to their personality
  3. As a result of the other party exercising a constitutional right unless this exercise impairs cooperation in the company
  4. Aimed at destroying the other person’s claims from the employment relationship
  5. Within the period when an employee is an elected employee representative in a company
  6. Done because the employee belongs to an employee association or because they are lawfully exercising a trade union activity
  7. This takes place as a result of the other party with good intentions asserting claims from the employment relationship
  8. Done when one hasn’t complied with the duty to consult and within the event of a collective redundancy

If the termination is abusive, your employer must pay compensation that should not exceed your two-month salary.

The law forbids the employer from terminating the employee’s contract in the following circumstances:

  • The employee is on sovereign-aid service authorized by the federal authority with their consent.
  • Four weeks before the beginning and after the end of civil defense service or compulsory military.
  • During pregnancy and 16 weeks following childbirth.
  • One can’t work due to an accident or illness for 30 days during the first year of service, 90 days from the second to the 5th one, and 180 days from the 6th year of service.

Release upon termination

Once you have given notice, the employer can release you before the notice period is over. This release happens in cases where you:

  • Have access to the company’s confidential data
  • Are under high competitive pressure
  • No longer represent any added value to the company 

During the leave of absence, you will receive the full salary until the end of the employment relationship. However, you are not entitled to an exemption in the event of a termination. 

If you are jobless at the end of the termination period, you should register as unemployed through these steps.

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