A flexible working time system – in particular an annual working time arrangement – can help avoid unproductive idle time and structure working time in the best possible way. Labour law and the CEA offer a relatively large amount of leeway in this area.
The CEA allows for working hours to be increased in exceptional situations
With the aim of preserving or creating jobs in Switzerland, it is possible to deviate from the working time regulations specified in the CEA in exceptional situations. These exceptions can be made in order to
- adjust to specific capacity cycles,
- carry out special innovation projects,
- overcome economic difficulties, and
- improve competitiveness.
In these cases, for a limited time Swissmem member companies applying the CEA can increase the normal working time of 40 hours a week without compensation. This increase must be agreed upon with the employee representatives through a special procedure.
Waiver of working time recording
The current CEA provides an option for individual employees to agree to waive working time recording. This is conditional upon the employee having a large amount of autonomy in planning their work and setting their working hours, and having gross annual income of more than CHF 120,000. For companies, this considerably reduces their administrative overhead.
Short-time work helps safeguard jobs
When orders decline temporarily, introducing short-time work can help prevent job cuts. By doing so, companies can adjust their costs to order volumes rapidly without having to part with experienced professionals. This also saves the cost of rehiring when the situation starts to improve again. It benefits companies, employees and the public.