1. August-Initiative - 1. August-Initiative

Graphical representation of the results of the individual cantons

The federal popular initiative "for a federal holiday without work " (also known as the 1st August initiative ) is a Swiss popular initiative that was voted on on September 26, 1993 and accepted by the people and the cantons. It was launched by the Swiss Democrats and had the aim of anchoring August 1st as a public holiday in the federal constitution. With a yes-vote share of 83.8%, it is still the popular initiative with by far the highest approval rate.


The Federal Constitution is amended as follows:

Art. 116bis (new)

  1. August 1st is a federal holiday in the whole of the Swiss Confederation.
  2. Under labor law it is on an equal footing with Sundays. The law regulates the details.

The transitional provisions of the Federal Constitution are supplemented as follows:

Transitional provisions Art. 19 (new)

  1. The Federal Council puts Article 116bis into force within three years of its adoption by the people and the cantons.
  2. Until the amended federal legislation comes into force, the Federal Council regulates the details by way of ordinance.
  3. The federal holiday does not count towards the number of public holidays according to Article 18 paragraph 2 of the Labor Act of March 13, 1964. [1]

Voting slogans

The vast majority of the parties ( FDP (albeit with 11 different sections), CVP , SP , SVP , LdU , EPP , PdA , SD , EDU , FPS , Lega ) and associations had passed the yes slogan. In addition to the attractiveness of an additional holiday, the aspect of uniform regulation also played an important role. Up until now, August 1st was a public holiday in the cantons of Zurich, Schaffhausen, Thurgau, Ticino and Geneva, while the other cantons worked either half-day or until 4 p.m.

The Liberals were the only party to proclaim the no. For them, federal competence was too much of an encroachment on federalism , because Switzerland had no nationally standardized holidays up to this point in time. She was supported by the Swiss Trade Association , which rejected the request because of the burden on the economy due to an additional holiday with full wages paid. The Greens decided to allow the vote because they did not want to support an initiative from the right-wing national corner.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wording of the initiative. admin.ch, accessed on February 7, 2009 .