Article written by Julie Pignier
The minimum wage
The minimum wage in canton of Geneva is therefore CHF 23.- an hour and applies to workers habitually carrying out their work in the canton of Geneva. A rather subtle aspect. The Labor Relations Inspection Act (LIRT) specifies that the location of the head office or branch is not representative of the application of this minimum wage. Thus, a company which has its head office in another canton, without a branch in Geneva and one or more employees usually working in the canton of Geneva is therefore required to pay the minimum hourly wage of CHF 23.- to the workers concerned.
Conversely, a company which has its head office or a branch in the canton of Geneva and whose employees work outside this canton is not required to pay the minimum hourly wage of CHF 23.- to workers who usually do not work in the canton of Geneva.
The LIRT (art. 39L, 23 al. 2bis et al. 3) provides that this salary floor replaces salaries below CHF 23.- per hour provided for by individual employment contracts, collective labor uses or standard agreements (CCT), employment contracts (CTT). The modification of the LIRT makes the readjustment of salaries below CHF 23.- per hour automatic.
The minimum hourly wage will rise to CHF 23.14 on January 1, 2021 due to the indexation provided for by law.
For workers paid monthly, in twelve monthly installments, the calculation to verify whether the minimum hourly wage is respected is determined as follows (subject to possible indexation):
CHF 23 x number of weekly hours provided for in the contract x 4.33 weeks on average in a month = minimum monthly salary
Exceptions to the minimum wage
The exceptions are related to trainees, apprentices, and young people who are minors.
The provisions are therefore not applicable to:
- Apprenticeship contracts;
- Internship contracts as part of a school or professional training provided for by cantonal or federal legislation
- Internships validated by a training institute, provided for in a training and / or orientation course between two training courses;
- Professional or social reintegration internships insofar as they fall under a federal or cantonal legal system.
- Employment contracts concluded with young people under the age of 18.
The last exception concerns the area of agriculture. In these sectors, the Labor Market Supervisory Council (CSME) has confirmed the minimum hourly wages paid to unskilled people, being CHF 16.90 – indexed to CHF 17 in 2021 – in agriculture and CHF 15.50 – indexed to CHF 15.60 in 2021 – in floriculture.
Control and sanctions
The OCIRT and the inspection paritaire des entreprises are the competent bodies to monitor compliance with this minimum wage. In the event of an infringement, the OCIRT is therefore able to impose an administrative fine on the company.
The minimum wage elsewhere in Switzerland
The cantons of Neuchâtel, Jura, Geneva and Ticino have a legal minimum wage. Neuchâtel was the first canton to introduce a minimum wage of CHF 20.- in the summer of 2017. Jura was the second canton to introduce a cantonal minimum wage in November 2017, also amounting to CHF 20.-
The canton of Ticino followed suit and since January 1, 2021, the minimum wage is CHF 19.-, subject to indexation.
Are you an employer and you do not know how to apply this minimum wage to your employees? Contact us!