There is no statutory minimum wage in Switzerland. That is why wages below 20 francs are legal. This is a problem with the high cost of living in Switzerland. Unia is fighting against low wages.

News-Scout K. earns only 19.24 francs gross per hour with a private security company.

& laquo; I only earn 19:24 Gross francs per hour & raquo;

Such low wages are not prohibited. Because in Switzerland there is no statutory minimum wage.

 & laquo; I only earn 19.24 francs gross per hour & raquo;

Unia is committed to ensuring that low wages are no longer paid anywhere in Switzerland.

That's what

  • is aboutGross wages below 20 francs per hour are allowed in Switzerland.

  • However, Unia is fighting against low wages and for a Switzerland-wide minimum wage.

  • Those who get so little wages should look for job alternatives.

  • If there is no training for a better job, one should try to gain experience.

19.40 francs gross per hour, that's a cheek – the HR experts involved agreed on this in the 20-minute live talk last Thursday (see video below). But it goes even deeper: “I only earn 19.24 francs gross per hour,” says News-Scout K. to 20 Minuten.

He works for a private security company in the canton of Zurich. Getting a wage increase is impossible. Because there are no real annual meetings in the company, as K. explains.

Such low wages are not prohibited. There is no statutory minimum wage in Switzerland. For certain industries, lower wage limits apply, which are set out in collective bargaining agreements (GAV). Otherwise the following applies: wages must correspond to the local, industry and professional conditions, as stated by the Unia.

However, some cantons have introduced statutory minimum wages. Like Geneva. There has been a minimum wage of CHF 23.14 per hour since 2021. Ticino has also had a minimum wage of 19 francs this year, while in Basel-Stadt a minimum wage of 21 francs was accepted at the ballot box.

In Neuchâtel and Jura, there has been a lower wage limit of 20.08 francs and 20 francs per hour, respectively, since 2017. “This is a start, but Unia is committed to ensuring that low wages are no longer paid in all of Switzerland,” explains a media spokesman. According to Unia, a decent wage should be at least CHF 22 per hour or CHF 4,000 per month.

Simply canceling is not a solution

HR expert Ursula Bergundthal also finds an hourly wage below 20 francs unacceptable: “In Switzerland, the cost of living is simply extremely high. With such a low wage you can hardly cover the running costs and there is a high risk of getting into debt at some point. »

But simply canceling is not a solution either, because you should first have an alternative. Often those affected lack the necessary training, professional experience or language skills. “But I recommend looking around for a job that pays better,” says Bergundthal.

If that is not possible, it is important to acquire new qualifications. If there is a lack of language skills, those affected should definitely invest time, advises the HR expert. «Because anyone who does not speak the national language does not understand the rules and rights and runs the risk of being exploited.»

It is important to gain experience

If there is a lack of training, those affected should rely on experience and take on new tasks internally. “Anyone who works in a retailer's warehouse, for example, should try to help out at the cash register,” says Bergundthal. It could be that the person acquires new experiences that enable a better-paying job in the medium term.

It is important that the experience gained is verifiable. Such assignments should therefore be mentioned in the job reference. “Basically, however, it is difficult to get a better job if the required training is missing.”

That is a low wage:

In Switzerland, a low wage is any income that is less than two thirds of the standardized gross median wage. In 2018, according to the Federal Statistical Office (BfS), the gross median wage was 6538 francs per month for a full-time position. So anyone who earns less than 4900 francs a month receives a low wage. The low wage is strongly dependent on gender: 16.7 percent women and 8.1 percent men receive a low wage, according to BfS.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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