The certificate of employment

The certificate of employment plays a very significant role in Switzerland and is an important part of an application.

The basic elements are :

  • Name, date of birth and origin of employee
  • Name of employer
  • Length of employment (precise dates)
  • Description of tasks and functions in hierarchy
  • Assessment of quality of work performed
  • Assessment of work behaviour in relation to superior, colleagues and third parties.

A good employment certificate also generally expresses regret at the employee’s departure and a recommendation to future employers, as well as good wishes for the employee’s personal and professional future.

Legally, the employment certificate must not hinder the employee with regard to their professional future, but there is no automatic entitlement to receive a good certificate.

An employment certificate may be requested at any time

Information of a private nature such as membership of a religious order and/or trade union has no place in an employment certificate.

Moreover, the reason for termination of employment cannot be specified against the employee’s will.

If you disagree with the employment certificate, you should discuss it with your superior. HR departments, equal opportunities offices or mediation services can help in such instances.

In addition, if the certificate is inaccurate, it is possible to refer the matter to the courts and request that it be rectified. This procedure is free of charge. Trade unions can also provide assistance.

Since the employment certificate is so important in Switzerland, you’ll find numerous resources on this subject on the internet. Example here (in French).