Coronavirus: Will Switzerland introduce a working from home obligation?

Coronavirus: Will Switzerland introduce a working from home obligation?
Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Switzerland’s Health Minister has proposed a working from home obligation. If approved, the measure will apply until January 20th.

Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset has put forward a proposal to oblige people to work from home in Switzerland, if their work allows them to do it. There is however no guarantee the measure will be approved due to some political opposition. 

According to a draft plan viewed by Swiss tabloid Blick, all employees in the country should “fulfil their work obligations as far as possible from home”. 

Switzerland set to tighten coronavirus measures until Christmas: reports 

The law compels employers to take “the appropriate organisational and technical measures” in order to let their employees work from home. 

According to Berset, “working from home is no longer just a recommendation of the BAG, but there is now an obligation to work from home, as far as this is operationally possible.”

If approved, the rule would come into effect immediately and stay in place until January 20th, with the ultimate goal of reducing infection rates in the lead up to Christmas and New Year. 

‘Goes too far’?

Foreign Affairs Minister Ignazio Cassis has opposed the measure, saying it “goes too far” and feared it would open “up possible claims – either against the employer or against the federal government”.

“It would be fatal to impose additional costs on companies in the current situation,” said Cassis. 

Blick reports that Berset sought to implement a similar measure in October, however his efforts were defeated. 

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