Swiss union VPOD wins landmark case on rights for live-in care workers

Nurse helping elderly women in a wheelchair at home ©Can Stock Photo by goldenKB

(26 January 2022) The Swiss public services union and EPSU affiliates VPOD has won an important case for live-in (24 hours) care workers. On 19 January the federal court ruled that 24-hour carers, who are placed in private households by temporary employment agencies, must be covered by the labour code.

Previously, these workers had no protection which meant no limit to working hours and no rights to rest or time-off because the labour code didn’t apply to working arrangements in private households. The court stipulated that from now on workers placed by agencies will be covered by the employment regulations.

The federal court decision is a step in the right direction, but the judgement does not apply to private households directly employing care workers. The VPOD demands that all care workers in private households are covered by labour code and for an end to the exploitative character of 24-hour care work through proper regulation.

Adam Rogalewski, EPSU policy officer responsible for health and social services said “This landmark victory follows last year’s German federal court ruling, in a case brought by EPSU affiliate ver.di, that live-in carers should be covered by national legislation and in particular the minimum wage regulations. These rulings point to the end of exploitative conditions for live-in cares, making clear that they should benefit from the same labour protection afforded to other care workers. “

For more details, please check the VPOD website


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