Equal pay: Good practices from the public sector

Bern, 28.10.2021 - Five years ago, the Charter for equal pay in the public sector was launched. Since then, many cantons, communes and state-associated organisations have intensified their commitment to equal pay. A new publication highlighting good practices in the public sector across Switzerland aims to encourage others to adopt the principle of 'equal pay for work of equal value'.

The brochure 'Towards equal pay. Implementing the Charter for equal pay: Examples from the cantons, communes and state-associated organisations' presents 21 administrations and companies from all parts of the country that have signed the Charter and taken measures to implement it.

The cantons, communes and companies portrayed in the brochure have implemented the Charter's requirements in different ways. The canton of Jura, for example, is setting up a competence centre to monitor equal pay relating to procurement and subsidies, and also requires companies with between 50 and 99 employees to carry out mandatory equal pay analyses. In the canton of Vaud, procurement and subsidy monitoring is the responsibility of a tripartite commission, the first of its kind in Switzerland.

The city of Lausanne has taken a different approach to promoting equal pay – it has developed a new salary system by reassessing all functions using an analytical job evaluation. The city of Winterthur, on the other hand, has adopted a diversity strategy that includes management training on the topic of equal pay. The small commune of Riddes in Valais has revised its salary system following an analysis using the Confederation's standard analysis tool Logib.

Eliminating wage discrimination is a primary concern of the Federal Council, and a key objective of the 2030 gender equality strategy, which the Federal Council adopted this spring. One of the top-priority measures mentioned in the strategy for achieving this goal is the introduction of Logib Module 2 for smaller companies in summer 2021. This measure also fulfils requirement Article 13c of the Gender Equality Act (GEA), under which the Confederation must provide "all employers with a standard analysis tool free of charge".

Employers in Switzerland are obliged to ensure equal pay. Under the Federal Constitution, women and men have had the right to equal pay for work of equal value for the past 40 years. Despite this, the unexplained gender pay gap in the economy as a whole averages 8.1% according to the latest Earnings Structure Survey (ESS 2018) conducted by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (ESS 2016: 7.7%). For women, this is a shortfall of CHF 686 per month

Address for enquiries

Patric Aeberhard
Head of the Labour Unit


General Secretariat FDHA

Federal Office for Gender Equality