Employee Data Protection

There are special challenges associated with the lawful use of employee personal data. The employer may, for example, edit data on the employee only as it relates to her/his suitability for employment or for fulfilling the requirements of the contract (Article 328b OR). In addition, the employer must also pay attention to a number of special rules, especially those in labour law. In addition, the general rules of data protection law apply as well. This juxtaposition of the different legal standards often leads to uncertainty for businesses.  Companies often want to manage and process employee data with innovative information technologies. In practice, though, it is not always clear which technical applications and data manipulations are actually allowed and whether they are necessary to fulfil the employment contract. This is particularly true for technologies designed to monitor the activities and behaviour of employees.

In addition, company employees have access to ever more modern electronic communications and equipment (such as teleworking, e-meetings, email, internet, mobile data storage media). The use of such communication and work equipment must also be regulated.

We offer legal advice in particular on the employee data protection topics listed below. This includes consultation for  Employee Relationship Management  which is more technical in nature and is listed separately to the left.

Data processing in the jobs application process

  • Application procedures
  • Online recruitment
  • Application documents
  • Submission of application documents by email
  • Interviews
  • Reference information
  • Pre-employment tests
  • Graphological reports
  • Physical exams
  • Genetic studies
  • Staffing and recruitment services
  • Processing and storage of data after hiring or not
  • Data processing during the employment relationship
  • Employee relationship management (see the category to the left)
  • Planning, implementation and operation of the HR information system (such as SAP, PeopleSoft, etc.)
  • Personnel files (electronic and other)
  • Time management systems
  • Wage data
  • Processing, management and archiving of personnel files
  • Registration of personal data collections at FDPIC
  • Absence management
  • Data processing and evaluation by assessment centres
  • Psychological performance tests
  • Reintegration of employees returning from disability / case management
  • Electronic communications and work tools for employees (email, internet, teleworking, mobile media, video conferencing, e-meetings)
  • Employee handbooks
  • Policies and procedures for employees
  • Use regulations for employees
  • Evaluation of employee data with statistics, OLAP and data mining algorithms
  • Use and monitoring of email traffic
  • Evaluation and monitoring of employee internet surfing
  • Monitoring and evaluation of employee phone conversations
  • Spyware in the workplace (such as recording keystrokes, copying the work screen)
  • General access and authorisation rights
  • Use of mobile storage media (such as memory sticks)
  • Employee confidentiality agreements
  • Employer access rights to private data storage devices when a criminal offence is suspected
  • In-house advertising
  • Sharing employee information with other departments and business units
  • Disclosure and use of employee data in affiliated companies
  • Disclosure of employee information to authorities and third parties
  • Transfer of employee data abroad
  • Data protection compliant disposal of waste and old data media
  • Employee right to information
  • Employee right to correct records
  • Data processing after termination of employment
  • Retention, return and destruction of employee records and personnel files


Schweizer Privacy Law
Hagenholzstrasse 81a
CH-8050 Zürich
Telefon: +41 (0)76 457 70 90