Daily sickness allowance

How long does the employee receive wages in the event of illness in Switzerland?

Official information from the federal government, cantons and municipalities: https://www.ch.ch/en/family-and-partnership/work-and-family/absences-from-work-due-to-illness-or-accident/#bei-krankheit

Two cases must be distinguished:

There is a daily sickness benefit insurance (Krankentaggeld):

The conclusion of a daily sickness benefit insurance is not required by law, but is often provided for in the employment contract for the benefit of both parties. Most daily sickness benefit insurances give an entitlement to 80% of the salary for 720 or 730 days within 900 days. The insurance policy and the general insurance conditions are always decisive for the obligation to pay benefits of the daily allowance insurance. Of course, it is also possible that the insurance policy provides for a daily allowance of 100% of the salary.

The obligation imposed on the employer by law to continue to pay wages in the event of illness is satisfied if the insurance solution is at least equivalent. According to court practice, contractual agreements are permissible, according to which the employer does not have to pay wages during a few days of sick leave (depending on the court, 1 - 3 days of sick leave). Daily allowances of 80% of wages for 720 days are considered equivalent to the statutory continued payment of wages, which provides 100% of wages, but for a much shorter period of time. Equivalence also requires that the employer pays at least half of the insurance premium.

Novartis has opted for a solution with "daily sickness benefits", this aims to cover the loss of salary due to incapacity for work and is a better protection for employees than with "continued salary payment" only. Novartis pays the premium at 100% which is a nice advantage because this means more net salary for the employee compared to other Swiss employers. 

 

Good to know:

  • Data protection around daily sickness benefits & employer
  • Because it means an improvement of the legal obligation to continue to pay wages, and in order to avoid abuses*, the insured person has a duty to cooperate in accordance with the General Insurance Conditions of the Collective Daily Allowance Insurance, Articles 21 + 22, otherwise your wages can be stopped in accordance with the law, whereby Novartis has chosen a moderate path with the current daily allowance insurer.
  • The goal is always a joint solution, an integration into the daily work routine, be it at the previous location or elsewhere.  
  • Many employers pass on the premiums to the insured. Novartis pays these 100%, which means a higher net wage for the employee.

 

Information sheet Enquiries daily sickness benefits

https://www.swica.ch/p/433_e_Merkblatt_Abklaerungen_Krankentaggeld_KTG.pdf

Information sheet for daily sickness benefits processing

https://www.swica.ch/p/431_e_Merkblatt_Leistungsabwicklung.pdf

 

 

There is no daily sickness benefit insurance (Krankentaggeld):

Regulation according to OR:
The law (Art. 324a Para. 1 OR) stipulates that in the event of illness, the employer must pay the employee the full salary for a certain period per year of service, provided that the employment relationship has already lasted more than three months or was entered into for more than three months. In the first year of service, the employer must pay the employee the salary for at least 3 weeks and reasonably longer thereafter (Art. 324a para. 2 CO). The salary payment is 100% from the first day of illness (no waiting days). For duration see below (table).
A longer period for the obligation to continue to pay wages may be stipulated in the employment contract, CLA or NAV.
If the GAV or NAV do not contain a provision that is more favorable to the employee, the courts will apply the following scales to determine the exact duration.

 

Basler Skala
BS, BL

Berner Skala
BE, AG, OW,
SG, West-CH

Zürcher Skala
ZH, GR

 1. Dienstjahr

 3 Wochen

 3 Wochen

 3 Wochen

 2. Dienstjahr

 2 Monate

 1 Monat

 8 Wochen

 3. Dienstjahr

 2 Monate

 2 Monate

 9 Wochen

 4. Dienstjahr

 3 Monate

 2 Monate

 10 Wochen

 5. Dienstjahr

 3 Monate

 3 Monate

 11 Wochen

 6. Dienstjahr

 3 Monate

 3 Monate

 12 Wochen

 7. Dienstjahr

 3 Monate

 3 Monate

 13 Wochen

 8. Dienstjahr

 3 Monate

 3 Monate

 14 Wochen

 9. Dienstjahr

 3 Monate

 3 Monate

 15 Wochen

 10. Dienstjahr

 3 Monate

 4 Monate

 16 Wochen

 11. Dienstjahr

 4 Monate

 4 Monate

 17 Wochen

The entitlement to continued payment of wages is calculated per year of service and starts anew with each year of service. Several absences in the same year are counted together.

Continuation of salary payment includes not only the fixed salary, but also all other salary components, insofar as these would have accrued without incapacity for work. In the case of irregular wages, a representative period of up to one year is taken as a basis.

The statutory continued payment of wages may not be contractually waived. 

Source: State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

 

Insured benefits of the Novartis daily sickness allowance

The insurance covers the full net salary from the 1st day of sickness for a maximum of 720 days within a period of 900 days. During the associate’s first 3 months with Novartis, the granting of sick pay is at the discretion of the company.


Right of transfer to individual insurance

Associates who leave the company have the right to transfer to an individual insurance plan with SWICA, provided they live in Switzerland. This right of transfer must be exercised by means of a written application to SWICA within 90 days of terminating the employment contract. The rates and conditions of SWICA applicable at the time of transfer are applicable.

No right of transfer exists for associates who change jobs and transfer to the daily sickness allowance insurance of a new employer or on reaching the statutory (AHV) age of retirement.

This right of transfer must be claimed using a form.