Equal treatment for all Credit Suisse and UBS employees
UBS today announced concrete details of how the integration of the Credit Suisse units in Switzerland will proceed. For the Swiss Bank Employees Association (SBEA), it is important that all employees of both banks are treated equally throughout this process. A first important step is a uniform social plan that applies to all Credit Suisse and UBS employees from 1 January 2024 and provides particularly robust protection for older employees. When integrating the Credit Suisse units into UBS, equal working conditions and an equivalent solution for the pension fund are important. The Swiss Bank Employees Association expects UBS to fulfil its promise of equal treatment.
Since the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS was announced on 19 March 2023, the Swiss Bank Employees Association has emphatically made three demands: Firstly, as many jobs as possible should be preserved. Secondly, Credit Suisse employees must
be treated equally to UBS employees. And thirdly, there needs to be special protection for older employees. Less than a year later, it is clear that all three of the Swiss Bank Employees Association’s demands have been met. Now it is a matter of concrete implementation.
Uniform social plan from 1 January 2024 with special protection for older employees
Since 1 January 2024, all employees of the two banks in Switzerland are covered by the same social plan. This is based on the UBS social plan that has been in place since 2019, with some benefits having been expanded. The central element of the social plan is the extension of the notice period by up to twelve months. During this time, those affected receive support in their search for a new job. The aim is for as many affected employees as possible to find a new job internally or externally before the end of the period.
The social plan also provides special protection for older employees, who, as experience shows, have more difficulty finding a new job despite the shortage of skilled labour. There is also the option of early retirement.
The Swiss Bank Employees Association is satisfied that its demands have been met and congratulates the two staff committees on their successful negotiations. The Swiss Bank Employees Association is satisfied that its demands have been met and congratulates the two staff councils on their successful negotiations. The Association would like to thank the two banks for meeting their social responsibilities even in this situation.
Merger of the business units and adaptation of the structures are independent of each other
UBS today announced a timetable for the integration of the various Credit Suisse units into UBS. Around three quarters of Credit Suisse employees in Switzerland are affected for the time being.
Credit Suisse AG in Switzerland, Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG and Credit Suisse Funds AG will be transferred to the corresponding UBS unit in the coming months.
In Switzerland, the Merger Act stipulates that in the event of an absorption merger, the employment contracts of employees are automatically transferred by law to the acquiring entity at the time of the merger. Employees have the right to refuse this transfer. In order to ensure uniform general terms and conditions for all new UBS employees, these will be adapted to UBS standards.
The Swiss Bank Employees Association (SBEA) is pleased that today’s announcements provide clarity for Credit Suisse employees on what will happen in the coming months. In addition, the SBEA welcomes the procedure for the transfer of employment contracts from Credit Suisse to UBS, which is separate from the job cuts. The structures will subsequently be adapted independently of this in a process defined by the operational requirements.
The promise of equal treatment still applies
In order for Credit Suisse employees to be able to agree to the transfer of their employment contract without reservations, there must be clarity about the “overall package” of working conditions and, in the opinion of the Swiss Bank Employees Association, no downgrades should have to be accepted.
The same applies to the pension fund: The Swiss Bank Employees Association expects the conversion rate, the amount of the employer contribution and the conditions for early retirement to be the same for all employees.
The Swiss Bank Employees Association is confident that UBS will continue to apply equal treatment as set out in the social plan during the forthcoming transfer of employment contracts from Credit Suisse to UBS and that the overriding objective of retaining as many jobs as possible in Switzerland will be maintained.