City of Winterthur in criticism: “Reduction of vacations and overtime in quarantine is not permitted”

Urban workers who are in quarantine may need to cut vacations and overtime. That causes criticism.

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City workers may need to cut overtime and vacation time when in quarantine.

Marc Dahinden / Landbote

This causes criticism from the SVP and the VPOD union.

This causes criticism from the SVP and the VPOD union.

Marc Dahinden / Landbote

“The police in particular come into contact with many people and are exposed to a higher risk,” says SVP Vice President Markus Reinhard.

Marc Dahinden / Landbote

  • If home office is not possible, quarantined municipal employees have to cut overtime and vacation.

  • That doesn’t go down well with the SVP or the union.

  • The city council is sticking to the regulation.

Some employees in the city of Winterthur would be deducted holidays and overtime if they had contact with a person who tested positive for corona and have to be quarantined. This is what the SVP City of Winterthur wrote on Monday in an open letter to the city council. We are not talking about employees who have traveled to a risk area and consciously accepted the quarantine. Affected are people who have been exposed to positive contact in everyday life.

According to SVP Vice President Markus Reinhard, the situation has worsened in the past few days. “We spoke to several affected municipal employees.” The procedure is particularly disruptive because private companies are sometimes more accommodating. The city police in particular are mentioned in the open letter: “The police officers in particular come into contact with many people in the course of their official work and are therefore exposed to a higher risk despite all protective measures.” The SVP demands an immediate adjustment of the rules.

The regulation is also causing criticism from the VPOD union. “The reduction of overtime and vacations in quarantine is not legally permitted,” says Secretary General Stefan Giger. The problem also exists in other places – for example in the city of Zurich and in the canton of Bern. An expert opinion was therefore commissioned, which should be available in January. In addition: “Such a reduction in overtime and vacation also endangers the quarantine measures in and of themselves, which are central to overcoming the Corona crisis.”

“At most holidays from the previous year”

In the city of Winterthur, the open letter causes astonishment, as it is said on request. “The city administration was not contacted in advance, and the corresponding regulations have been in effect for the entire city administration since April 2020,” says CVP Mayor Michael Künzle. On December 16, the city council added the regulation to the handling of the vacation carry-over that goes beyond the limits of personnel law.

The rules stipulate that employees in quarantine work from home if possible. If that is not possible, they have to cut overtime and overtime as well as, in certain cases, vacation from previous years. “No holidays are deducted from the current calendar year,” explains Künzle. Holidays from the previous year would also be taken into account if more than two and a half weeks were carried over.

An adaptation of the practice is not planned according to Künzle. The practice is also comparable to that of other public employers. In addition, all municipal employees would be treated equally during implementation.

Do you or someone you know have trouble with the Corona period?

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