Littler Global Guide - Switzerland - Q2 2023

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Minimum Wages in Two Major Cities

New Regulation or Official Guidance

Authors: Dr. Ueli Sommer, Partner, and Dr. Regula Rhiner, Senior Associate – Littler | LEL

Two major Swiss cities – Zurich and Winterthur – decided (by popular vote) to introduce a statutory minimum wage. In Switzerland, there is no nationwide legal minimum wage and so far, only five cantons (provinces) have implemented such regulations. It is unclear whether individual municipalities even have the authority to enact minimum wage regulations for their areas; the Federal Supreme Court has so far only ruled that cantons are entitled to do so as long as such measures can be justified in terms of social policy.

The statutory minimum wages to be introduced in these two cities are CHF 23.90 and CHF 23 per hour (plus vacation and public holiday compensation), respectively, and override any deviating provisions of collective employment agreements. Provided that these statutory regulations will not be considered unconstitutional by the Federal Supreme Court, their compliance will be ensured through possible civil proceedings as well as government controls (whereby non-compliant employers can be fined).

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.