An increasing number of employees from European Union countries working in Switzerland earned salaries below the agreed labour standards last year.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs – a unit of the economics ministry – said nearly two in five employees in sectors with collective labour agreements, and a further 12 per cent in sectors without such regulations, were affected in 2010.
The authorities said they reviewed the working conditions of more than 40,000 people in a total of 34,000 companies – a slight increase on the number of reviews carried out in 2009 – as part of accompanying measures designed to prevent firms undercutting local salary levels.
Switzerland and the European Union in 2002 introduced a bilateral accord granting unlimited access to labour markets. The agreement came into force gradually and was extended to eight eastern European countries earlier this month.
In response, the Trade Union Federation on Tuesday said it was concerned about the increasing number of violations of legal standards, particularly among companies offering temporary employment.
swissinfo.ch and agencies