The Swiss canton of Geneva, one of the most expensive cities in the world, will apply as of tomorrow Saturday a rule that obliges employers to pay a minimum wage of 23 francs (21 euros) per hour, which is equivalent to about 3,700 euros per month and it is the highest minimum wage on the planet.
This minimum wage, not so high in a city where renting a normal flat rarely goes below 2,000 euros per month and there is no social security, so each person must have private health insurance that for a middle-aged man exceeds 500 euros per month for basic benefits.
The establishment of a minimum hourly remuneration was approved in a regional referendum in late September and it only applies to the canton of Geneva, where 80,000 voters, 58% of those who went to the polls, said yes to the initiative “23 francs is the minimum.”
In a country with a liberal tradition like Switzerland, Only Geneva and two other cantons of the 26 that make up the country have a minimum wage, and the Genevans themselves they had refused to set one in previous referendums (2011 and 2014).
Change of mind has been associated by analysts the crisis situation created for the covid-19 pandemic.
According to the French newspaper “Le Temps”, the looming economic crisis has led many Genevans to fear that wage conditions worsen.
The pandemic has also made them value many essential jobs like those in the healthcare sector.
The city, with an economy highly dependent on high-end tourism toassociated with business and international diplomacy, it is always at the top of the lists of the most expensive cities in the world, often competing with Zurich, Singapore or Hong Kong.
Until now, the highest minimum wage in the world was 12.1 euros per hour guaranteed to Australian workers, which would translate into about 2,180 euros per month, a figure that Geneva will far exceed.
Swiss city minimum wage will also contrast with those of the European Union, where neighboring countries like Italy and Austria don’t have one and even a nation with a high cost of living such as Luxembourg It has established it at just 2,141 euros per month.
That of Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France it ranges between 1,706 euros for the former and 1,539 for the latter, according to Eurostat data.
Of the rest only Spain exceeds a thousand euros, with 1,108 (figure similar to 1,122 euros in the United States).