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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Federal act establishing national minimum wages in the domestic sector.

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
In 2011, following the extension of Free movement of people to EU8 countries and persisting pressures on wages in this sector, the Federal government adopted a federal act establishing minimum wages in the domestic economy. Besides stipulating a minimum wage, the federal act also determines the scope of domestic activities (this includes caring services), and exceptions to the minimum wage (au-pair youth, workers employed for less than 5 weekly hours, etc.). As defined in the federal act, the gross minimum hourly wage amounts from 18.20 to 22 CHF CHF ? 14,97 to 18,10 Euros - depending on the employees? work experience and vocational level.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • employment
  • wage
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Introduced in January 2011 for a first three-year time period. Possible prolongation up to 2016.
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: temporary for the time being
  • Budgets: none, costs are borne by employers
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: unknown
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The objective was to offer a basic work protection and ensure decent wages in a sector not covered by any collective agreement but experiencing strong wage pressures following the introduction of the Free Movement of Persons.
Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
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 work regulation in the domestic sector)
  • wages (introduction of legal minimum wages in the domestic sector)
Intended target group
Domestic workers
Working age population
  • main source of income: paid work
Employers-private institutional actors
private households hiring domestic workers, as indirect target groups of the federal act.
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • central state
Intended output
  • regulation of the labour market (new work regulation in the domestic sector)
  • wages (introduction of legal minimum wages in the domestic sector )
Intended and unintended outcomes
Legally speaking, all domestic workers. However, in 2012, 16% of private employers who were controlled did not respect the minimum wage.
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