Arbitration is a simple and straightforward opportunity to defend yourself against discrimination. The goal of an arbitration is to find an agreement between you and your employer. Arbitration is free and confidential. You do not need a lawyer for it.

How to initiate an arbitration:

1. The arbitration body in the canton in which you work is responsible for you. If you have questions, they can advise you over the phone.

2. You can initiate an arbitration by submitting a written request or by verbally presenting your concerns.

The following details are important:

a) Your identity

b) Your employer

c) What you demand:
- Ascertaining the discrimination
- Prohibition and elimination of the discrimination
- Compensation of a maximum of six months of pay
- Compensation (in the event of physical and psychological suffering)
- Damages (in the event of material damage such as medical costs, lower pay etc.)

d) What happened (describe the discrimination about which you are complaining)

e) Don't worry about it: the process is straightforward and simple.

3. Create a dossier that contains your employment contract along with all available documents (letters, e-mails, personnel appraisals, incidents recorded by you etc.) and the names of witnesses and submit it to the arbitration body.

At the arbitration body:
1. In general, you will be invited by the arbitration body for a hearing within two months.

2. Personally go to this appointment. You can be accompanied by a person of your choice so that you feel more secure.

3. DThe arbitration hearing is an informal discussion without minutes. After the consultation the arbitration body makes a suggestion to you and your employer in order to find a solution acceptable to both sides.

4. In most cases a solution is found. If not, then you have three months to bring an action in court.

Good to know:

> You do not have to fully prove a discriminatory termination or harassment (burden of proof relief), but only present facts that make them seem likely. Your employer must prove that your termination was not discriminatory or that you were not harassed.

> You must not be terminated during the arbitration nor in the six months thereafter. But you can resign. The process is continued regardless.

> At you can find other cases in which affected persons have defended themselves against discrimination with an arbitration.

Download "Request for arbitration"

Maternity agreement

It is recommended that you organise your return from your maternity leave as early as possible. Particularly if you wish to reduce your workload, this allows you to avoid misunderstandings and you can return to your workplace carefree. A maternity agreement is a written agreement between you and your employer. As early as while you are pregnant you should set out together which additions to your existing employment contract should come into force as soon as you return from your maternity leave to the workplace.

Download "Maternity agreement" form


If you were terminated and you suspect that the reason is your pregnancy or motherhood, then raise an objection. This is the only way to assert claims for compensation.
An objection must take place in writing within the notice period. It must therefore have arrived at your employer on the last day of the notice period. The postmark is not enough.
In the objection also demand that the employer comments on the reasons for termination in writing, so that you can present these at a possible arbitration.

Download Formular "Objection to termination" form