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Legal information on «BYOD» – Bring Your Own Device

Legal information on «BYOD» - Bring Your Own Device

«Bring Your Own Device» (BYOD) refers to employees using their own personal devices such as smartphones, laptops or tablets for work purposes. In Switzerland, there are a number of legal aspects that should be taken into account when implementing BYOD:

  • Labour law: if the employee provides the work device themselves, they must be compensated for it in accordance with the OR, unless otherwise agreed. An employer who tolerates the employee’s use of private devices without an explicit regulation therefore runs the risk of the employee asserting a claim for compensation.

If the employee is obliged to use their own devices, the employment contract must be amended accordingly. The use of personal devices goes beyond the employer’s right to issue instructions and requires a notice of termination.

  • Liability for damage or loss: If the private device that an employee (legally) uses for work is stolen or damaged, the employer is liable.
  • Data protection: The data protection regulations must be complied with. It is important to ensure that personal data is adequately protected and processed.
  • Trade secrets and intellectual property must be adequately protected by technology.
  • Security requirements: Appropriate security measures must be implemented on personal devices. This includes encryption, password protection, etc.

An employer is well advised to clearly regulate the relevant points in a BYOD policy, corresponding directives and regulations, and possibly even in the employment contract. With the clearest possible regulations, they can avoid problems later on and minimise liability risks.