A minimum wage set at 4,000 euros. Unlike France, Switzerland does not impose a minimum wage at the national level but the decision is up to each canton. After Jura and Neuchâtel, 58% of voters in the canton of Geneva voted in favor of a guaranteed minimum wage of 21 euros per hour, or 3,786 euros per month for 41 hours of work per week. By way of comparison, in France, the minimum wage is 1,521 euros gross and 1,201 euros net.
It is obvious that this minimum wage must be put into perspective with the cost of living. If we take the example of an apartment rental, we have to count 2,800 euros for a two-room apartment in Switzerland.
This salary must be highlighted because of the living cost in Geneva. A ranking carried out in 2015 by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living ranked Geneva seventh among the most expensive cities in the world with a median salary of 6,755 euros.
Left-wing parties and trade unions defended by putting forward the fight against precariousness and poverty. According to the authorities, this increase will benefit 30,000 people, two-thirds of whom are women.
Twice as many as 15 years ago
Perhaps the big winners of this measure are the French workers. Cross-border workers from Haute-Savoie and Ain, for example, who work in Switzerland will see their purchasing power increase without suffering the cost of living. According to INSEE, their numbers are increasing. More than 115,000 people from the Rhône-Alpes region work in Switzerland, twice as many as 15 years ago.
One Haut-Savoyard out of five now works in Switzerland according to the INSEE and 84% of them in the canton of Geneva. This is obviously the highest minimum wage in the world, ahead of Luxembourg (2140 euros) and Australia (1950 euros). The Geneva minimum wage is nearly three times higher than in France. For 35 hours (compared to 41 hours in Switzerland), a French person with a minimum wage will receive 1540 euros gross and 1200 euros net.
This increase will affect some 30,000 people, i.e. 10% of the canton’s active population who currently earn less than 4,000 francs per month. And if this “social minimum” may seem very high by French standards, it is a question of allowing the inhabitants to “live with dignity”, the unions assure in one of the most expensive cities in the world.