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Switzerland: Requirements for organizational gender pay analysis coming

Inclusion and Diversity|Total Rewards
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July 10, 2019

Recent amendments to the Federal Act on Gender Equality will soon require companies with 100 or more employees to carry out and submit for review an equal pay analysis by gender.

Employer action code: Act

Recent amendments to the Federal Act on Gender Equality will soon require companies with 100 or more employees to carry out and submit for review an equal pay analysis by gender. The requirement is intended to provide greater gender pay transparency on wage levels, thereby strengthening compliance with the existing law on equal pay for equal work. The effective date of the legislation is to be determined but is expected to be before the end of 2019.

Key details

  • Companies with 100 or more employees at the beginning of the year will be required to conduct an initial equal pay analysis by gender of all employees (excluding apprentices) regardless of working time pattern or pay rates, in the first year the mandate applies.
  • The analysis may be conducted via a free web-based tool from the federal government (available here) or other suitable tool. The analysis must be independently verified either by one of the 20 third parties authorized by the Federal Office for Equality Between Men and Women or by recognized employee representatives. Third parties must provide their final reports to companies within one year of receiving the analysis.
  • Employees must be informed of the findings in writing, within a year of verification. Companies that are publicly listed in Switzerland must include the findings in the appendix of their annual reports.
  • Mandated companies are required to perform and disclose the analysis as described every four years until the analysis demonstrates evidence of equal pay, at which point it is exempt from future performance of the analysis.
  • One unusual aspect of the amendments is that they are set to expire 12 years after they take effect.

Employer implications

The amendments do not mandate remedial measures to address findings of unequal pay nor do they specify penalties for non-compliance. It would appear that Switzerland is taking an approach to addressing gender-based pay inequities similar to that of the United Kingdom by requiring employers to examine gender-based pay gaps and publicize the results of that analysis. Further guidance from the federal government on implementation is expected to address some of the procedural matters. The government estimates that less than 1% of all companies will be subject to the mandate but that the analyses will cover 46% of all employees in the private sector.

Questions? Contact

Sacha Cahn
Head of Rewards, Switzerland (Zurich)

Stewart Dyer
Director Rewards Switzerland (Zurich)

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