Are you getting paid enough? SGB launches new Swiss salary calculator

Are you getting paid enough? SGB launches new Swiss salary calculator

The Swiss Trade Union Federation (SGB) has launched a new wage calculator that can tell workers in Switzerland whether their salaries are fair or not. Union officials told 20 Minuten that 2023 presents an ideal year to ask for a raise, with inflation still looming and companies beset by staff shortages.

2023 is the ideal time to demand a wage rise, SGB argues

"Never before has the need to catch up on wages been as great as this year," noted SGB spokesperson Urban Hodel. Speaking to the Swiss media, he argued that "the chance for strong wage increases has rarely been better" as "employers are complaining about a shortage of skilled workers and will be forced to raise wages sharply."

To help workers secure a fair deal, the union has released a new wage calculator online. SGB explained that the tool - a heavily upgraded and updated version of their previous calculator - is designed to help employees argue for higher wages when their work contracts are renegotiated.

The calculator allows users to select their age, job, industry, level of education, seniority, working hours, management level and Swiss canton of residence in order to calculate how much they should be paid. The data used in the calculator is from unbiased studies conducted by the Federal Statistical Office and State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, and the tool will now also be able to calculate the effect inflation has had on purchasing power since 2020.

Swiss unions raise the alarm over salaries

The announcement follows a report from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, which found that around 16 percent of jobs in Switzerland are affected by “wage dumping” - when someone is paid lower than the standard rate for their role. 20 Minuten pointed out that the new wage tool has been released at the right time, becoming available amid record-breaking falls in purchasing power.

SGB added that real wages in Switzerland have now fallen for three years in a row. The union’s chief economist Daniel Lampart argued that firms “have used the opportunity in recent months and increased prices beyond the costs. That is profit maximisation at the expense of employees.”

Employers argue they bore the brunt of inflation 

Needless to say, the calculator has not been well received by entrepreneurs, with Swiss Employers’ Association economist Simon Wey telling 20 Minuten that companies cannot raise prices on consumers at will and that without price rises, they are unable to raise wages. He claimed that with firms themselves having borne the brunt of rising inflation, “where it is not possible to pass on the costs, the margins and ultimately the prospects for higher wages decrease."

You can check out the wage calculator, available in German, French and Italian, via the official website.

Thumb image credit: / Michael Derrer Fuchs

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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