Minimum wage in the canton of Geneva

Following a popular vote, a minimum wage has been in force in the canton of Geneva since 1 November 2020. This wage is adjusted every year based on the consumer price index (see article 39K of the Labour Inspection and Relations Act of the Canton of Geneva, LIRT).

From 1 January 2022, the gross salary per hour is CHF 23,27.

Categories of persons concerned

The salary provisions of the LIRT apply to all economic sectors except for agriculture and horticulture, which are regulated by other legal provisions. The law provides for exceptions for apprenticeship contracts, traineeship contracts and contracts concluded with au-pairs under 18 years old  (Art. 39J, LIRT). All other employees who work in the canton of Geneva must receive the minimum remuneration set forth in the LIRT.

Local employees of the permanent missions are subject to the minimum wage introduced in the LIRT, and their employers must comply with this salary (see also Labour conditions general remarks). This applies to local employees who hold a type ‘E’ legitimation card from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) or a residence permit or a permanent residence permit (B or C permit) and to local employees who are Swiss nationals (with a type ‘R’ FDFA legitimation card).

Transferable staff are not subject to the provisions of the LIRT, since permanent missions are entitled, in accordance with international law, to determine the conditions of work that apply to this category of staff.  In addition, private household employees remain subject to the provisions of the Private Household Employees Ordinance (PHEO). 

Year

 

Hourly salary

Gross monthly salary (x 12) according to the number of hours worked per week

40
hours

41
hours

42
hours

43
hours

44
hours 

45
hours

2020

23.-

3'986.67

4’086.33

4’186.-

4'285.67

4'385.33

4'485.-

2021

23.14

4'010.93

4'111.21

4'211.48

4'311.75

4'412.03

4'512.30

2022

23.27

4'033.46

4'134.30

4'235.14

4'335.97

4'436.81

4'537.65

Evolution of the minimum wage since 1 November 2020
Evolution of the minimum wage since 1 November 2020

The calculation is as follows: [number of hours worked per week] x (52/12) x hourly wage

Gross wage components and salary calculation for local employees

Under the LIRT, ‘salary’ is defined as the determining salary within the meaning of the Swiss legislation on old-age and survivors’ insurance (AHV/AVS), excluding any indemnities paid for holidays and public holidays (Art 39K para. 4 LIRT). The reference value is the sum of all the elements making up the total salary. The employer may take additional salary benefits into account when determining the employee’s total contractual salary. This includes, for example, the 13th month salary, gratifications or bonuses, housing allowances or benefits in kind for accommodation or meals (the AHV/AVS value of benefits in kind is 345 Swiss Francs for accommodation and 645 Swiss Francs for meals for employees who are lodged and fed by the employer), or the full or partial payment of health insurance premiums and/or medical expenses, from which the employee benefits. These additional benefits are taken into account when determining the cash salary that the employer should pay to the employee.

The minimum wage in force takes into account that the employee is registered with the compulsory social insurance schemes in Switzerland, that they therefore pay social contributions, and that they also pay their mandatory health-insurance premium. Local employees of the permanent missions who hold a type ‘E’ FDFA legitimation card are exempt from the Swiss social insurance schemes under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18 April 1961, applicable by analogy (without prejudice to the provisions of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons and the bilateral social security conventions applicable to the local employees based on their nationality and the State employing them, see information notes on this topic). Furthermore, in accordance with the Federal Ordinance on Compulsory Health Care (OAMal) and with the exception of local employees who are EU/EFTA nationals working for the permanent missions of EU/EFTA member states (see information note) they are not required to take out compulsory Swiss health insurance. However, their employers must cover their medical and hospitalisation expenses, or pay, respectively, the insurance premium and any related expenses if they require their employees to take out health insurance, whether from a Swiss or foreign provider.

In view of the above, certain local employees receive a salary from which no social contributions are deducted by the employer. As a result, they receive a cash salary higher than that of an employee who must pay AHV/AVS social insurance contributions. The share of AHV/AVS social insurance contributions borne by the employee is 6.443% of the total gross salary. This percentage can therefore be deducted from the above-mentioned minimum gross monthly salary for local employees who are exempt from AHV/AVS social insurance. In addition, as indicated above, permanent missions have the right to take into account other salary components of the total salary, specifically, in this case, the payment of health-insurance premiums and the related expenses or the payment of medical expenses, when determining the salary owed to local employees.

Domestic staff

The Canton of Geneva has a standard employment contract for domestic staff (CTT-EDom), which since 2005 has specified compulsory minimum salaries for domestic employees (butlers, cooks, drivers, gardeners, housekeepers and other employees engaged in domestic work). The permanent missions are required to apply the salaries set forth in the CTT-EDom to their local employees assigned to the above-mentioned work.

The minimum salaries in the CTT-EDom are composed of the cash salary and an in-kind salary for accommodation and meals (value: 990 Swiss Francs). If the employee is neither lodged nor fed by the employer, the latter pays them the entire minimum wage specified in the CCT-EDom. If, however, the employee is provided with accommodation and meals, the employer deducts 990 Swiss Francs from the salary specified in the CTT-EDom and pays the employee the difference in cash.  Employers can also take into account the status of their employees with regard to AHV/AVS insurance (exempt or contributing) in determining the total salary amount.

To facilitate the work of the permanent missions, the Swiss Mission has drawn up a monthly salary slip template for local employees. This document will help employers determine the amount of the cash salary they should pay their employees, taking into account the additional salary components specified in the contract (see under "Documents"). The document available on the information note Labour conditions (general remarks) also summarises the working conditions in force in Geneva for certain functions.

Specialist Contact

Permanent Mission of Switzerland to UNOG
Office of Privileges & immunities
Rue de Varembé 9-11
P.O. Box 194
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. +41 (0)58 482 24 24
Fax +41 (0)58 482 24 37