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Can your boss require you to have a Covid certificate in Switzerland?

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Can your boss require you to have a Covid certificate in Switzerland?
A waiter serves customers at a restaurant in Barcelona on November 23, 2020 as bars, restaurants and movie theatres were allowed to reopen in Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia after being closed for over a month as part of measures to slow coronavirus infections. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)

Switzerland’s tighter Covid rules have an impact on the workplace. Can your boss require that you have one - or even demand to see it?


From Monday, September 13th, Switzerland will tighten Covid certificate rules. 

Bars, restaurants, gyms and other indoor areas will all be subject to Covid certificate rules. 

READ MORE: Here’s what you can still do without a Covid certificate in Switzerland

While these venues will all require patrons, customers and visitors to have Covid certificates, this will not apply to members of staff. 

However, if staff do have valid Covid certificates, an employer may then relax the rules in place, for instance not requiring masks or distancing. 


Can your boss ask to see your Covid certificate in Switzerland - or demand you have one? 

Yes. Your employer is allowed to ask whether or not you have a Covid certificate or not, however they cannot require you to have a Covid certificate in most cases

The question is allowed to be asked in order to decide whether certain steps need to be taken in the workplace to protect people from further infection, such as creating distance between people or installing barricades. 

Where possible, employers could place those with Covid certificates in one area where no masks were required, and others without Covid certificates in another area where masks, distancing and plastic shields are installed. 

Employers can also take additional steps such as asking those without a certificate to work from home, if this is possible. 

When it comes to requiring that employees have Covid certificates, the rules are similar to those for requiring that employees get vaccinated. 

If a solution cannot be found, then termination is possible - but this can take place only in rare instances, and is more likely in private companies than when working for the government. 

If you work for a private company, employers “can make a distinction between vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees, especially for those who pose a security risk through frequent contact with other people”, Daniella Lützelschwab, a representative of an employers’ association, said to Swiss tabloid Blick.

Lützelschwab added that a company could decide to transfer unvaccinated employees to another location, where they are not in contact with other workers.

However, if relocation is not possible, the employer “must give an employee a deadline within which they should get vaccinated”.

If he or she still refuses, the company can dismiss them, on the grounds that they don’t support the employer in implementing health protection measures in the workplace.

Legal experts say the same rules apply to the Covid certificate

READ MORE: Can you be fired in Switzerland if you refuse the Covid-19 vaccine?

Employers must consult with their employees about the Covid certificate requirement, although the ultimate decision is with the employer about which measures will be installed, etc. 

Each canton will be able to decide whether Covid certificates will apply at universities. 


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