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Legit workers

Electronic badge to foster fair working conditions

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Authorities in canton Vaud have started a pilot project to tackle the practice of paying lower wages to foreign workers. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Some companies have been known to pay two different wages for the same job, with foreigners being paid a lower wage than Swiss nationals.

Canton Vaud is now setting a precedent in the fight against undercutting by introducing an electronic badge for employees in the construction sector.

Information stored on the electronic badge includes whether each worker is employed under fair conditions and if the employees are being covered for all required social security contributions.

Thanks to the badge, work inspectors visiting a construction site can quickly compare the data on the badge with information in a database to make sure that each worker is employed under fair conditions and the social contributions are being paid by the employer.

In canton Vaud, to date, these badges have been issued to approximately 3,000 of the 21,000 workers in the construction sector. Requests for the badge are vetted by a joint commission of workers and employers.

Currently, badges are requested on a voluntary basis. The pilot project is in the process of being extended to the cantons of Valais and Fribourg.