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Standard working contract establishing minimum wages in the retail trade sector

Country of implementation
Switzerland
General short description of the innovation
In 2013, following the extension of the Agreement on the Free movement of People, race-to-the-bottom pressures on wages in the retail trade sector and the absence/non-renewal of collective agreements, the governments of two Cantons established a standard working contract determining mandatory minimum wages in the retail trade sector. / The two Cantonal acts define the scope of activities concerned, and stipulate minimum wages in the retail trade sector. The actual minimum wages differ in the two Cantons. However, in both cases, different levels of minimum wages apply depending on qualifications and work experience. In the Canton of Geneva, the act also sets minimum wages for apprentices and employees hired on a fixed-term basis.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
  • wage
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Introduced in 2013 on a one-year renewable term
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: temporary
  • Budgets: none, costs borne by employers
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: about 30?000 retail trade workers (for the two Cantons)
  • Spatial coverage: Cantonal (Geneva and Ticino)
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The objective is to guarantee a minimum wage and work protection for the employees of the retail trade sector in border Cantons particularly affected by the strong Swiss franc and wage pressures from cross-border commuters. /
Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
strong
Type of ideal-typical strategy for the innovation
  • encompassing security
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • regulations of the labour market (new Cantonal labour market regulation defining minimum wages in the retail trade sector)
  • wages (legal minimum wages for all employees of the retail trade sector)
Intended target group
Employees and employers of the retail trade sector not subjected to any collective agreement (Cantons of Geneva and Ticino)
Working age population
  • main source of income: paid work
Employers-private institutional actors
employers of the retail trade sector
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • employers (organised or individual)
  • regional government (Cantonal governments of Geneva and Ticino)
Intended output
  • regulation of the labour market (new Cantonal labour market regulation defining minimum wages in the retail trade sector)
  • wages (legal minimum wages for all employees of the sector)
Intended and unintended outcomes
): about 30?000 workers as a whole, and 3000 directly affected by a degradation of their working conditions
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