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  • 1.

    Provide an overview of the primary sources of law, regulation and practice that govern or affect executive compensation arrangements or employee benefits.

  • 2.

    What are the primary government agencies or other entities responsible for enforcing these rules?

  • 3.

    Are any types of compensation or benefits generally subject to specific corporate governance requirements or approval by shareholders or government?

  • 4.

    Under what circumstances does the establishment or change of an executive compensation or benefit arrangement generally require consultation with a union, works council or similar body?

  • 5.

    Are any types of compensation or benefit arrangements prohibited either generally or with senior management?

  • 6.

    What rules apply to compensation of non-executive directors?

  • 7.

    Must any aspects of an executive’s compensation be publicly disclosed or disclosed to the government?

  • 8.

    Are employment agreements required or prevalent? If so, what provisions are common?

  • 9.

    What are the prevalent types and structures of incentive compensation? Do they vary by level or type of organisation?

  • 10.

    Are there limits generally on the amount or structure of incentive compensation? Are there limits that adversely affect the tax treatment of the employer or the executive?

  • 11.

    Is deferral and vesting of incentive awards permissible? Are there limits on the length or type of vesting and deferral provisions?

  • 12.

    Can it be held that recurrent discretionary incentive compensation has become a mandatory contractual entitlement?

  • 13.

    Does the type or amount of incentive compensation awarded to an executive potentially affect the compensation that must be awarded to other executives or employees?

  • 14.

    Is it permissible to require repayment of incentive compensation under certain circumstances? Are there circumstances under which such repayment is mandatory?

  • 15.

    What are the prevalent forms of equity compensation awards in your jurisdiction? What is a typical vesting period?

  • 16.

    Are there forms of equity compensation that are tax-advantageous or disadvantageous to employees or employers?

  • 17.

    Does equity-based compensation require registration or notice? Are exemptions, or simplified or expedited procedures available?

  • 18.

    Are there withholding tax requirements for equity-based awards?

  • 19.

    Are inter-company chargeback agreements between a non-local parent company and local affiliate common? What issues arise?

  • 20.

    Are employee stock purchase plans prevalent or available? If so, are there any frequently encountered issues with such arrangements?

  • 21.

    Are there any mandatory benefits? Are there limits on discontinuing voluntary benefits that have been provided?

  • 22.

    What types of employee benefits are prevalent for executives? Are there tax or other financial incentives or disincentives for any employee benefit arrangements?

  • 23.

    Are there prohibitions on terminating executives? Are there required notice periods? May executives be dismissed without cause?

  • 24.

    Are there statutory or mandatory minimum severance requirements in your jurisdiction? Are there any other mandatory, post-employment benefits?

  • 25.

    What executive severance payment level is typical?

  • 26.

    Are there limits on dismissal for ‘cause’? Are there any statutory limits on ‘constructive dismissal’ or ‘good reason’? How are ‘cause’ or ‘constructive dismissal’ defined?

  • 27.

    Are ‘gardening leave’ provisions typically used in employment terminations?

  • 28.

    Is a general waiver or release of claims on termination of an executive’s employment normally permitted? Are there any restrictions or requirements for the waiver or release to be enforceable?

  • 29.

    What post-employment restrictive covenants are prevalent? What are the typical restricted periods?

  • 30.

    Are there limits on, or requirements for, post-employment restrictive covenants to be enforceable? Will a court typically modify a covenant to make it enforceable?

  • 31.

    What remedies can the employer seek for breach of post-employment restrictive covenants?

  • 32.

    Are there any required pension or other retirement benefits? Are there limits on discontinuing voluntary benefits that have been provided?

  • 33.

    What types of pension or other retirement benefits are prevalent for executives? Are there tax or other financial incentives or disincentives for any employee benefit arrangements?

  • 34.

    May executives receive supplemental retirement benefits?

  • 35.

    May an executive be indemnified or insured for claims related to actions taken as an executive, officer or director?

  • 36.

    Under what circumstances will an asset sale in your jurisdiction result in an automatic transfer of benefit obligations to the acquirer?

  • 37.

    Is it customary to provide for executive retention or related arrangements in connection with a change in control?

  • 38.

    Are there limits or prohibitions on the acceleration of vesting or exercisability of compensation in a change in control? Are there restrictions on ‘cashing-out’ equity awards?

  • 39.

    Do foreign exchange controls rules apply to the remittance of funds, or the transfer of employer equity or equity-based awards to executives?

  • 40.

    Must employment agreements, employee compensation or benefit plans, or award agreements be translated into the local language?

  • 41.

    Are there prohibitions on tax gross-up, tax indemnity or tax equalisation payments?

  • 42.

    Are choice-of-law provisions in executive employment contracts generally respected?

  • Updates and trends

View more information about Pestalozzi (Zurich)


Zurich
Loewenstrasse 1
8001
Zurich
Switzerland
T: +41 1 217 91 11
F: +41 1 217 92 17


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