We answer all questions relating to collective labour agreements and standard employment contracts. Information is also provided in respect of the employment of domestic staff including 24-hour care. If you come across indications of labour exploitation in the context of such a 24-hour care relationship or if you yourself are affected by it, you will also find a corresponding reporting form here.

Collective employment contracts

The service Industrial Relations and Arbitration Office (ABZ) is your point of contact for questions about collective employment contracts (GAV). A GAV is a contractual agreement between employers or employer associations and employee associations to regulate the working conditions and the relationship between the GAV parties. It is set down in Art. 356 et seq. of the Code of Obligations (OR).

The classic content of a GAV includes provisions on the conclusion, content, and termination of an individual employment contract (normative provisions), provisions on the rights and obligations of the contracting parties towards one another (contractual obligations), and provisions on control and enforcement of the GAV.

The normative provisions of a GAV become part of an individual employment contract when it comes into force. They are directly applicable to all employees who are themselves members of a union or staff association if the employer is also party to the GAV. However, such employers usually also apply the GAV to employees that are not member of any association. The mandatory normative provisions cannot be deviated from to the disadvantage of the employees. A GAV is usually concluded with a specific term. During the term, both sides are obliged to maintain peace.

The normative provisions include, among others, matters such as wages, thirteenth salary, reimbursements, continued wage payment in the event of illness, maternity, and military service, holidays, work time regulations, extension of the protection against dismissal.

The Industrial Relations & Arbitration Office

  • provides information on issues concerning collective employment agreements
  • is responsible for the Government’s declaration of universal applicability regarding cantonal collective labour agreements
  • documents the collective labour agreements valid in the Canton

GAV für das Basler Ausbaugewerbe (finishing construction industry)

In the canton of Basel-Stadt, the generally binding collective employment contract (GAV) of Finishing construction industry of Basel, including supplement 1, is valid until 31 December 2026. There was a gap in the declaration of general applicability for the month of January 2023.

Gypsum industry in the Canton of Basel-Stadt

In the Canton of Basel-Stadt the collective labour agreement of Gypsum industry in the Canton of Basel-Stadt including addendum 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as well as appendix 6 is in force, valid until 31 December 2026

GAVs declared generally binding by Federal Government

The declaration of general applicability (AVE) of GAVs has the effect of extending its personal scope to all employees and employers in the professional or economic sector in the cantons concerned.

SECO keeps a list of the collective labour agreements declared generally binding (in German, french or Italian only).

Domestic staff

The standard employment contract for domestic staff (NAV)

entered into force in Switzerland on 1 January 2011. The NAV specifies minimum wages that are binding for the whole country.
Gross minimum wages excluding holiday premiums and paid bank holidays amount to:

  1. Unskilled: CHF 19.95/hr
  2. Unskilled with a minimum of 4 years’ relevant experience: CHF 21.85/hr
  3. Skilled (with EFZ – Certificate of Competence): CHF 24.05/hr
  4. Skilled (with EBA – Federal Vocational Certificate): CHF 21.85/hr

The new NAV and the specified minimum wages exclusively apply to employment contracts involving 5 hours per week or more. Furthermore, there are restrictions in terms of personal applicability.

The standard employment contract for domestic staff in the Canton of Basel-Stadt governs all contracts involving more than 4 working hours per week and is regulating the working conditions.

If you are employing new domestic staff, please use our Guidelines, domestic staff.

Further important links and forms 

NAV model contract, monthly wages

NAV model contract, hourly wages

Guidelines, domestic staff

Sample wage accounting

Recording of working hours acc. to the NAV for domestic staff, BS

OASI Office Basel-Stadt (Ausgleichskasse, in German only)

Protection from termination subject to Art. 336c CO

Notice Suspicion of Labour Exploitation in Carework

Guide to employing domestic help (in German)

Agricultural staff

The standard employment contract for agricultural employment in the Canton of Basel-Stadt applies to agricultural employment in the Canton of Basel-Stadt.

NAV with mandatory minimum wages for persons employed in the retail trade in Basel-Stadt

The standard employment contract with compulsory minimum wages for people employed in the retail sector in the canton of Basel-Stadt will not be extended. This was decided by the cantonal government at the request of the Tripartite Commission on Working Conditions. The cantonal minimum wage of CHF 21.70 will apply to the retail sector from 1 July 2024.

Further information: Tripartite committee

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