The statutorily valid conclusion of a contract of employment


As with all contracts and agreements, a contract of employment is concluded on the basis of an agreed mutual expression of intent (comp. Art. 1, Para. 1 of the ‘CoO’). The consensus of the parties should refer to the following (objective) material contractual aspects:

  • the work performance is essentially to be fixed;
  • the agreement on reward (the amount is not essential);
  • the agreement on the work performance over time (a determinate or indeterminate time period).

There are often also so called General Conditions of Work, upon which agreement is to concur between the parties.



The parties are essentially permitted to regulate the content of a contract of employment themselves. The content may however not infringe legality, i.e. a contract of employment may not include impossible, illegal or immoral content (comp. Art. 20, Para. 1 of the ‘CoO’). In addition, a contract of employment may not diverge from the statutory (compulsory) requirements of Art. 361, Para. 1 and Art. 362, Para. 1 of the ‘CoO’.


Under employment law, the principle of the permissible contractual form exists (comp. Art. 320, Para. 1 of the ‘CoO’). An employer is however to inform an employee in writing of the names of the contractual parties, the commencement of the employment, the functions of an employee, the remuneration and the weekly working hours (comp. Art. 330b of the ‘CoO’ [Became law on 1 April 2006 (Swiss Legal Gazette / “BBI – Bundesgesetzblatt”) 2004 5891 6565]), when a contract of employment has a duration of more than one month.


Should any single agreements under a contract of employment infringe legality, then only such parts of the agreement are invalid and not the entire contract.

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