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Shift allowances

Additional payments that employees receive when they work unusual hours are known as shift allowances. These allowances are intended to compensate for the special burdens and restrictions associated with working nights, weekends or public holidays. The amount of shift allowances can vary depending on the company, industry and collective agreement.

What are shift allowances?

Employers use shift allowances as a financial incentive to attract and retain employees for shifts outside of regular working hours. Normally, these bonuses are paid for night work, work on Sundays and public holidays or weekend work. In many cases, shift bonuses are defined in collective agreements or works agreements. Shift allowances are a common instrument in the EU and Switzerland to compensate employees for irregular working hours and to maintain a work-life balance. Their support strengthens employee motivation and loyalty, as they help to compensate for the additional burden of unusual working hours.

Types of shift allowances

Depending on the type of unusual working hours, different types of shift allowances may apply. For example, night allowances are paid for working at night and Sunday or public holiday allowances for working on these special days. Shift allowances may also be paid for weekend work. Often, the exact amount of shift allowances depends on the duration of the shift, the frequency of unusual working hours and the applicable agreements. In some industries, extra allowances may also be paid for heavy working hours or hazardous working conditions.

Legal aspects of shift allowances

Shift allowances in the EU are regulated by the Working Time Directive, which sets minimum requirements for working time regulations in the member states. Shift allowances in Switzerland are legally enshrined in the Labor Act and the corresponding collective agreements. It is normally the duty of employers to pay shift allowances in accordance with the applicable regulations and agreements. It is important that employers calculate and pay shift allowances correctly, as violations of these regulations can lead to legal consequences.

Influence on employees

Employee satisfaction and motivation can be significantly influenced by shift allowances. Employees feel valued and treated fairly by receiving extra pay for unusual working hours. This can boost morale and loyalty to the company. Employees can react flexibly to the demands of their job with shift allowances and create their own personal work-life balance. This can reduce stress and promote employee health.