Geneva exempt: has its own minimum wage
Bern, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Swiss domestic workers will have a minimum wage starting 1 January, the Swiss Federal Council said 20 October.
The new federal ordinance is in effect until 31 December 2013 and is largely designed to protect the domestic workers who have flocked to Switzerland, since 2007, from low-wage countries that are part of the enlarged European Union. Technically, the new ordinance makes domestic workers part of a CTT, or “type travail” contract.
Switzerland has had no minimum wage in the past and this is the first time one has been mandated because the law allows minimum wages to be set only under exceptional circumstances: repeated salary abuse in a sector, with workers regularly paid less than the professional salary for that industry.
The federal government undertook a study in 2008, recently completed, and it consulted with the cantons, who have also studied wages for domestic workers.
It concluded that domestic worker salary abuse is widespread and routine. The new ordinance calls for a minimum wage of CHF18.50 an hour for workers with no experience, CHF20 for those with five years experience but no professional training and CHF22 for those with Swiss-approved professional training.
The CTT rules apply only to private domestic workers who are employed for a minimum of five hours a week by the same employer.
Grandparents, spouses, registered concubin(e)s and partners are excluded, as are employees whose main job is childcare, including babysitters, mothers helpers, nannies and mamans du jour.
The new ordinance applies throughout Switzerland except in Geneva, which has its own minimum wage, just slightly more than the new federal wage scale.
Links to other sites: The new ordinance, in French, Geneva’s site for domestic workers, employers and employees (includes suggested wages for babysitting, household help, and social security information).