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Christmas has come early this year for an estimated 400’000 contract workers in Switzerland! After intense negotiations, a new four-year collective employment contract has been signed between the social partners. This makes this collective labour agreement, the one with the greatest scope in Switzerland.

 

For the uninitiated, a CLA or collective labour agreement is drawn up by employers and worker’s trade unions. The agreements define conditions including the minimum wage which should be adhered to. In Switzerland, there are many collective employment agreements – also referred to as collective bargaining agreements (CBA’s) and are typically entered into between:

    • An individual company and one or more unions representing its employees.
    • Or several companies and one or more unions representing their employees.
    • Or one or more employer associations and one or more unions representing employees.

 

 

 

 

The key points of the new collective bargaining agreement are:

  1. It provides for higher minimum wages (+3.2 percent in 2024) with an automatic inflation adjustment for the coming years.
  2. The social partners are now requesting that the collective employment agreement, which is relevant in the context of the accompanying measures, be declared generally binding once again by the Federal Council.
  3. This will allow it to continue to make an important contribution to the protection of Swiss wage and working conditions.

The above was announced in a joint communication between the largest Swiss trade unions: Unia, Syna and Angestellte Schweiz, as well as Swissstaffing, the employers’ association for personnel service providers, and the commercial association.

 

These partners have now applied to SECO – the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for Staff Leasing to be declared generally binding for four years from 01 January 2024. This includes with inflation for 2021 and 2022 to also be taken into account

From 2024, an automatic inflation adjustment will be introduced on the minimum wages for all categories (see Fig 1 below). In addition, the inflation for 2021 and 2022 that has not yet been offset will also be taken into account. This means that minimum wages will also increase by 3.2 percent in 2024. The specific figures:

 

202320242025
Unskilled normal wageCHF3’630CHF3’744.86Inflation CHF +35.-
High wage unskilledCHF3’830CHF3’951.26Inflation CHF +37.-
Skilled normal wageCHF4’420CHF4’561.24Inflation CHF +44.-
Skilled high wageCHF4’720CHF4’870.84Inflation CHF +47.-

Fig 1. Table showing increases in wage structure as a result of the new CBA.

 

The main beneficiaries  from the improved collective labour agreement are all temporary workers who are not employed in sectors that are subject to their own generally binding CBA. This includes such sectors as healthcare, construction, sales and retail or the hospitality industry.

 

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