Geneva set to introduce minimum wage of £3,500 a month amid coronavirus crisis

The new minimum wage, set at just under £19.50 per hour, will reportedly be the highest in the world.

The canton’s 500,000 voters passed voted in the new sum proposed by local unions and left wing parties, after twice rejecting it in 2011 and 2014.

The wage rise was approved by just over 58 per cent of Geneva voters on Saturday and the measure comes into effect on October 17.

It comes amid reports of growing coronavirus-linked poverty with people flocking to food banks in the Swiss city.

The new wage is more than twice the rate in neighbouring France, with a guaranteed minimum monthly salary of 4,086 Swiss francs (£3,457) based on a 41-hour working week.

Yearly, it adds up to an annual income of 49,000 Swiss francs (£41,430).

France 3 television reported that the measure came after Geneva, whose economy depends on tourist and business visitors, had been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Michel Charrat, the president of the Groupement transfrontalier européen, an organisation that supports those working across the French-Swiss border, described the vote result as a “mark of solidarity” with the city’s poor.

He told The Guardian: “Covid has shown that a certain section of the Swiss population cannot live in Geneva. 4,000 (Swiss francs) is the minimum to not fall below the poverty line and find yourself in a very difficult situation."

He added the measure would benefit 30,000 low-paid workers, two-thirds of them women.

The UK’s national living wage, the minimum paid to workers over the age of 25, is £8.72.

The minimum wage for those younger and apprentices ranges from £4.15-£8.20 an hour.

In France, the minimum wage is €10.15 (£9.28) an hour and €1,539,42 (£1,407.25) a month for a 35-hour working week.

 

Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/geneva-minimum-wage-coronavirus-a4560111.html

 

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