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Equal pay to be enforced through wage reports

Women still earn about 20% less than men for similar work Keystone

This content was published on October 22, 2014 - 16:10 and agencies

The government wants to introduce regular salary surveys in companies with more than 50 employees to boost equal pay between men and women. 

The results of the reviews, to be checked by a third party, are to be published in the annual reports of the companies, but no details of the wage gaps have to be revealed, according to a white paper by the cabinet. 

A bill for parliament is to be drafted by the middle of next year following a broad consultation among parties, cantons and other institutions, the justice ministry said on Wednesday. 

Reports show women still earn about 20% less than men for similar work, despite a 1981 constitutional right to equal pay and non-gender discrimination. 

Five years ago the government launched an initiative for companies to examine wage disparities at a voluntary level. The move was supported by the employers’ association and trade unions. 

However, only about 50 firms participated in the dialogue, while sectors including the retail trade, banking and the insurance industry stayed away. 

In a first reaction, the trade unions cautiously welcomed the proposal, while the employers’ association called on parliament to first define precisely the terms of a possible regulation.

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