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Minimum wage in Geneva

  • Christophe Bellino, Director |

The law was enacted end of October and entered into force on 1 November 2020. No transition period was foreseen. As such, the minimum hourly wage now amounts to CHF 23 and will increase to CHF 23.14 per hour as of 1 January 2021 to reflect the cost of living indexation provided for by the law.

What is included in the Geneva minimum wage?

The minimum hourly wage subject to OASI (AHV / AVS) exclude any compensation paid for vacation and public holiday days. A worker paid on an hourly basis must receive an hourly wage of at least 23 Swiss francs, plus the vacation allowance and the allowance for public holidays.

For employees paid on an hourly basis, the minimum 23 Swiss francs, incl. the 13 month’s wage, must first be determined. The allowance for public holidays and the vacation allowance must then be added to this amount.

For employees remunerated on a monthly basis including a vacation and public holidays right, it is not necessary to add a vacation allowance or an allowance for public holidays since these are already included in the monthly salary. The minimum hourly wage remains 23 Swiss francs as well when the employees is paid on monthly basis.

Are there exceptions?

The new amount is not applicable to apprenticeships and internships “in the context of school or professional education provided for by the cantonal or federal legislation”, such as labor performed during a professional maturity. Also exempted from this new minimum wage are employment contracts concluded with workers younger than 18 years old.

Finally, the new minimum wage also does not apply to agricultural jobs, for which the State Council can, upon a proposal made by the Labor Market Supervisory Board (“CSME”), set a minimum wage of less than CHF 23 per hour (Article 39K(2) LIRT*).

What are the risks?

The Cantonal Office of Inspection and Labor Relations (OCIRT) and “the Inspection Paritaire des Entreprises” (Joint Inspection of Companies) are responsible for controlling whether companies comply with this minimum wage (Article 39M(1) LIRT). In case of breaches, the Cantonal Office of Inspection and Labor Relations can impose an administrative fine.

Conclusion

Since there is no transitional period (effective as of 1 November 2020) for the implementation of the minimum wage in the Canton of Geneva, we recommend that you review the contracts of your various employees with immediate effect.

*Law on Inspection and Labor Relations

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