The Swiss Federal Court has ruled that two Swiss companies do not have to compensate two employees who were paid in euros and who ended up with less than their franc-earning colleagues.

Explaining its decisionexternal link on Tuesday, the country’s highest court said the cross-border workers from Germany and France had agreed to a corresponding change to their contracts in 2011 – knowing what it meant for their salaries – and therefore any subsequent demands for compensation were unlawful.

The two companies, in canton Schaffhausen and Jura, paid the two employees in euros for several years – at a disadvantageous rate for the two employees compared with colleagues who were paid in francs.

The two workers demanded they be paid the difference for the years 2015 – when a euro cap on the franc was scrapped, causing the franc to shoot up 30% in value against the euro – and 2016. Last year the court of appeal in canton Schaffhausen awarded one plaintiff CHF20,475 ($20,785) and in 2017 the cantonal court in Jura awarded the other one CHF18,881.

Both companies appealed, and on Tuesday the Federal Court in Lausanne rule in their favour.

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