Are TCS employees sufficiently paid?

Wherever work is done, there are also costs: for material, business travel, food, training. According to the law, the employer must reimburse its employees for all expenses that are necessarily incurred in the work. In the case of an assignment at an external location, compensation for travel costs, accommodation and meals is owed. But the devil is often in the details: How much expenses can you charge and when are they due? Answers to frequently asked questions.

If I have to work away from home, I get 10 francs for lunch and 15 francs for dinner. My boss doesn't want to pay any more. His reasoning: I would have to eat at home too; he only pays the additional costs for meals away from home. Is that correct?

No. The meal costs are to be reimbursed in full - without taking into account the expenses that the employee would have had at home. Many companies have expense guidelines for out-of-home meals. These can be more or less generous depending on your professional position. The reimbursement of expenses should at least cover the cost of the daily menu including a drink in a simple restaurant.

2. Food at work

As a social pedagogue, one of my tasks is to have meals with our young residents. For educational reasons, I also have to eat exactly what they do. Is it correct that I have to pay for these meals?

No. If your contractual obligations include eating certain meals at work, these are costs that are necessarily incurred at work. The employer must bear this in full. In the opinion of the Federal Council, the free meals are considered to be wages in kind and are subject to AHV.

I'm a cook in a hotel. 300 francs a month are deducted from my wages for meals. But I never eat in the hotel because I pay attention to my line and always take fruit with me. My boss says he can't make an exception with me. Can i defend myself

Yes. You may only be deducted costs for meals if you actually use them. You may not be obliged to eat your meals at your own expense at the employer's premises. In the law, this regulation reads as follows: "Agreements on the use of the wages in the interests of the employer are void."

I drive a lot for business. I am usually allowed to use a company car, but I always drive my private car. What kind of compensation can I ask for?

In the case of business trips, the employer has to pay the operating and maintenance costs such as petrol, oil, tires or regular repairs. If you use your own vehicle for business trips, the proportional costs for taxes, liability insurance and amortization are added. As a rule, this is compensated with a kilometer allowance, which depends on the type of car and the kilometers driven. You can find out how to calculate the price per kilometer for your car from the automobile associations or at

Since I have to travel a lot as part of my job, I receive fixed flat-rate expenses every month. This should cover all expenses. Usually this money is not enough. Can i defend myself

Yes. Although it is permitted to agree flat-rate reimbursement of expenses, the flat-rate must fully cover the actual expenses. Collect receipts for your expenses and make a claim if the flat rate is insufficient to cover these costs. Agreements that an employee must bear all or part of the necessary expenses themselves are invalid.

My work regularly incurs high expenses. I am reimbursed for my expenses, but I often have to wait weeks or even months for everything to be paid for. Do I have to accept that?

The reimbursement of expenses should basically be paid every month with the salary - the prerequisite is of course that you submit your statement including receipts in good time. Since there are apparently regular expenses in your case, you can, by law, request a reasonable advance payment.

Our team has to attend a three-day course. The employer generally bears the costs. Since I only have a 60 percent workload, they only want to reimburse me for 60 percent of the costs. In addition, the course is partly part of my free time. Do I have to accept that?

Expenses that necessarily arise from the work must be borne by the employer - this also applies to compulsory further training. Since you have to attend the whole course, you have to pay for it in full too. The course hours that fall in your free time are counted as working hours - that is, these are overtime hours that are specifically to be compensated.

I am part of the management and am entitled to CHF 500 per month for representation expenses. In addition, I receive CHF 400 per month for car expenses. Now I've gotten sick and the expenses have been canceled. Is that permissible?

In principle, those expenses that still have to be incurred must be paid in the event of illness. In the case of car expenses, these would be the fixed costs, e.g. for insurance and amortization, but not the gasoline costs. In the case of entertainment expenses, the question arises as to whether it is an effective reimbursement of expenses or whether it is rather a "hidden" component of the wages. Then these "expenses" must also be paid in the event of illness.

At the beginning of the year we received a new expense regulation. For reasons of savings, lower rates for external accommodation and meals apply from now on. These amounts do not seem to me to be sufficient. What to do?

On the one hand, there is a treaty change that is not permitted overnight. The employer would have to comply with the notice period before the new regulation comes into force. On the other hand, the expenses actually incurred must also be fully reimbursed with the flat-rate expense allowance. If the new expense regulations do not comply with these statutory provisions, additional claims can be made.

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Published: October 20, 2020, 4:30 p.m.
Last updated: March 17, 2021, 8:15 pm