Conditions of Employment

Public Law Employment

Staff at the University of Zurich are employed according to public law, meaning they are employed by means of an order (Verfügung). Up to 31 December 2015, some staff were employed under a university contract.

Legal Foundations

Employment relationships at UZH are governed by the Canton of Zurich's employment act (Personalgesetz) of 27 September 1998, the employment ordinance (Personalverordnung) of 16 December 1998, the implementation ordinance of the employment act (Vollzugsverordnung zum Personalgesetz) of 19 May 1999, and by the employment ordinance (Personalverordnung) of the University of Zurich of 29 September 2014.

Trial Period

The first three months of the employment relationship are a trial period, during which either party may give notice with a period of seven days.
No trial period is observed if the position follows directly after a period of employment funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation or by a third-party fund, or after employment at UZH in a similar or the same function.

Notice Period

After the trial period is completed, the employment relationship can be terminated at the end of a given month as follows:

Length of Service Notice Period Salary Class 21 or Higher
1 year 1 month 1 month
2 years 2 months 2 months
3 years 2 months 6 months
4 to 9 years 3 months 6 months
10 and more years 6 months 6 months

Length of service is calculated on the basis of the notional starting date, which is not necessarily the starting date of the current term of employment.

Length of Service/Notional Starting Date

Various terms of employment law, such as the notice period, right to receive continued pay, and seniority allowance, depend upon the employee's length of service. Length of service is calculated using the notional starting date of employment, which includes all earlier terms of employment at the University of Zurich. Former permanent positions at the Canton up to 30 June 1999 and permanent positions in third-party foundations and the Swiss National Research Foundation from 1 January 2004 are also counted.


Employees are paid their annual salary in either 12 or 13 equal installments. Payment is generally is made on the 25th of each month. If 13 installments have been agreed upon, the 13th payment is made in December, or in the month the employee leaves the University (amount adjusted accordingly).

Allowance for Meals

Eligibility for lunch checks is governed by the lunch check regulations.

Family Benefits (Child and Education Benefits)

The Canton of Zurich pays the following family benefits:

- Child benefits: The minimum child allowance is CHF 200.00 per month up to and including the month in which the child turns twelve. Afterwards, the allowance is CHF 250.00 per month up to and including the month in which the child turns 16. If the child is unable to work, the allowance is paid until the child turns 20.

- Education benefits: The education allowance is CHF 250.00 per month. It commences in the month after the child turns 16 and continues until the month the child completes their education or turns 25, whichever occurs first.

The sum is always paid in full, regardless of whether the employment relationship is full time or part time. Employees must earn an annual income of at least CHF 6,960 to receive benefits; no payments are made to staff on incomes below this threshold. Employees must apply for benefits using the correct form. The child allowance is paid to one parent only.

More information is available at: (in German)


Full-time and part-time staff are entitled to a set amount of paid vacation per year:

Up to and including the calendar year of an employee’s 20th birthday, and as an apprentice/trainee

5 weeks

From the beginning of the calendar year of an employee's 21st birthday

4 weeks

From the beginning of the calendar year of an employee's 50th birthday

5 weeks

From the beginning of the calendar year of an employee's 60th birthday

6 weeks


Employees who are ill or injured must immediately inform their supervisors of their inability to work. A doctor's note is required for absences lasting one week or longer; supervisors may also request a doctor's note for shorter absences. If a period of absence due to illness or injury lasts longer than three months, and it is not clear when the employee can return to work, the employer may require the employee to undergo a medical examination by an independent physician.

Employees who are unable to work due to illness or a non-work-related injury continue to receive their salary as follows (employees are recommended to take out private daily allowance insurance cover for their first and second year of service):

In 1st year

100% for 3 months

75% for an additional 3 months

In 2nd year

100% for 6 months

75% for an additional 6 months

From the 3rd year

100% for 12 months


Absences that are less than six months apart are cumulated when calculating ongoing remuneration for a given term. Previous absences are not taken into account if employees have resumed work and have carried out the agreed workload for six months.

If the employment relationship ends before the statutory obligation to pay continued wages commences (dismissal by UZH, the end of a temporary position, end of employment due to invalidity), the right to continued pay ends on the date of the employee's final day of work.

Non-Work-Related Injury

See Illness.

Only employees who work eight or more hours per week are also insured for non-work-related accidents. As an employer, the University of Zurich receives a daily allowance from the accident insurer (Axa Winterthur) in accordance with the law on accident insurance (Unfallversicherungsgesetz UVG), which corresponds to 80% of the insured salary.

If the daily allowance exceeds the reduced salary rate, payment will be supplemented by up to 80% in accordance with the UVG. Affected employees receive compensation until they are again able to work. After the period in which employees are guaranteed continued pay expires, only the daily allowance in accordance with UVG is paid.

Please note that UZH employees can take out a supplementary insurance policy.

Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

Staff who are unable to work due to a work-related injury or illness continue to receive their full salary for 12 months. From the 13th month, this is reduced to 80% of the salary. Such absences are not treated as cumulative.

Pregnancy/Maternity Leave

Staff are entitled to paid maternity leave lasting a total of 16 calendar weeks. Maternity leave may begin at the earliest two weeks before the baby's due date. If pregnancy-related problems require an employee to stop working early, the last two weeks prior to the actual birth are counted as part of the maternity leave.

Seniority Allowance

After completing 10, 15, 20, 30, 35, 45, and 50 years of service, staff receive 15 days of paid vacation in recognition of their contribution to the University. After 25 years of service, they receive 22 paid days, and after 40 years, they receive 30 days of paid vacation. If an employee so chooses, or if operational factors prohibit a lengthy absence, the seniority allowance (Dienstaltergeschenk DAG) may be paid out as salary.

Right to be Heard

All UZH employees have the right to be heard prior to the issue of an order that affects their rights. Before a measure is implemented on the part of a supervisor, affected employees must be informed in person about the changes and be granted the right to issue a formal statement.

Employee Assessment/Reference Letter

All UZH staff have the right to receive a regular assessment of their work and conduct. They may request an interim reference at any time. A final letter of reference will be issued at the latest when an employee leaves UZH.