Minimum wage in Geneva

Minimum wage in Geneva
Geneva's minimum wage was introduced on November 1, 2020, following a popular vote. This wage is indexed annually to consumer prices.

Table of contents

Minimum wage in Geneva: the essentials

Minimum wage in Geneva: the essentials

Why this law?

This law was introduced to limit precariousness in workers in Geneva, as well as to guarantee all workers a decent income in line with the cost of living (with a few exceptions).

It also helps combat wage dumpinga practice of lowering salaries below those normally paid. Geneva now has one of the highest minimum wages not only in Swiss cantons, but also in the world.

Who is affected by this law?

This law applies to almost all economic sectors (with the exception of agriculture and horticulture, which are governed by other regulations).

In Geneva, the law is different for employment contracts such as:

Other cantons, such as Basel City, have also increased the minimum wage, albeit to a lower level: CHF 21.70 per hour.

Evolution

Salary history AVS determinants in force in the canton of Geneva from January 2020 to January 2024.

Minimum wage or collective bargaining agreement?

The Collective labor agreements (CCT) govern the basic salaries of a company or economic sector.

In principle, CLAs cannot set a lower wage than that in force in the canton (a CLA serves to protect employees and regulate working conditions between the two parties).

According to certain collective bargaining agreements, your salary must correspond to a certain amount, which may be above the minimum wage, depending on your profile.

Calculating Geneva's minimum wage

AVS determining salary

The minimum wage is defined as the AVS (old-age and survivors' insurance) determining wage. It is made up of all amounts subject to AHV.

Hourly-paid staff

For hourly-paid staff, such as housekeepers, vacation and public vacations must be included in the hourly wage (unless otherwise stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement). The minimum wage for an hourly-paid employee is calculated by multiplying the number of hours worked per week by the current gross minimum hourly wage.

Calculation example

Here's a practical example of how to calculate the salary of a person working 42 hours a week.

Formula for calculating gross monthly salary : Minimum hourly wage x Number of hours worked x (52/12) = Minimum monthly wage

24 x 42 x (52/12) = a CHF 4'368.-

Compliance with current legislation

What happens if this new law is not respected?

In the event of non-compliance, the Office Cantonal de l'Inspection et des Relations du Travail (OCIRT) provides for various sanctions.

What can I do if I'm not paid properly?

L'OCIRT is the body responsible for ensuring compliance with working conditions in Geneva. The first thing to do is to contact them and explain your situation.

Alternatively, you can contact trade unions such as UNIA. This is particularly advisable if you are subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

Opposition to this law

From an economic point of view

Those opposed to the new law argue that it could createinflation. It would make companies less competitive and increase unemployment.

Higher wages could also lead to higher prices for consumers.

On the other hand, those in favor of this law claim that it could help increase the purchasing power of residents, while stimulating growth of a country.

This new wage law could therefore help reduce poverty and income inequality, which in turn could boost an economy's productivity.

Recourse

In 2020, several Geneva employers' associations lodged an appeal against the introduction of a minimum wage in the canton, amounting to CHF 23/hour.

The Fédération des entreprises romandes (FER) Genève argued that this measure could harm the local economy, particularly in the context of the post COVID-19 crisis. The appeal, which was lodged with the Constitutional Chamber of the Court of Justice, highlighted companies' fears about their competitiveness.¹

Median salaries in Geneva in 2020²

¹ Radio Lac. (2020, October 6). Geneva: employers appeal against minimum wage. Radio Lac. Retrieved from https://www.radiolac.ch/actualite/geneve-les-patrons-recourent-contre-le-salaire-minimum/

² Cantonal Statistical Office (Date of publication). Chart or page title. Republic and Canton of Geneva. Retrieved from https://statistique.ge.ch