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Equal salaries fight gets jobs-check boost

The federal government is putting up the money to create two new full time jobs and retain two temporary ones to check that companies are paying equal salaries for men and women. Migrate to SwitzerlandA number of other measures will address the problem of discrimination against women workers, but it remains to be seen if they will change the underlying problem, that talking about salaries is a Swiss taboo. Companies do not publish them in job ads, nor is the information openly available within companies. The new posts, slated for 2014, will be used to check that companies are paying fair wages to women, mainly one that are bidding on or working with the federal government. A key point is Bern’s recognition of the scope of the problem: women are paid significantly less than men in Switzerland for the same work. Bern’s figure of nearly 9 percent less is on the low side, according to several groups, who cite a different of closer to 20 percent. Le Matin a year ago quoted Franziska Teuscher, a Green Party member from Bern and co-president of the Commission on Women of the labour group USS (Union syndicale suisse), saying that women earn 18.4 percent less, and between 1998 and 2006 that difference was cut by only 0.5 percent, despite the law. Egalite.ch, a group that coordinates efforts in this area by cantons, also uses the 18.4 percent figure, saying the loss is equal to CHF1,176 a month. Today’s statement from the Federal Council notes that while the right to equal wages is written into Swiss law “equality is not yet a reality; Switzerland is faced with a problem of salary discrimination, as the most recent Swiss survey of salary structures shows. According to the OFS (federal statistical office) discrimination is, on average, 8.7 percent, equivalent to an estimated CHF7.7 billion in women’s lost wages for all of 2010. In the private sector this amounted to CHF677 a month on average in 2010.” Bern points out that the financial loss for women doesn’t just affect the wage-earner herself, but also her family. And companies that pay fair wages are up against the problem of competing against companies that cheat by paying women lower wages – clearly illegal competition, according to Bern. Source: http://genevalunch.com/2013/05/01/equal-salaries-fight-gets-jobs-check-boost/

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