Switzerland to vote on world's highest minimum wage

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Switzerland to vote on world's highest minimum wage

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Switzerland is to vote on Sunday, May 18 in a referendum on the introduction of a minimum wage set at 22 Swiss francs (18 euros) per hour.

The country does not have a minimum wage at all at the moment.

Trade unions say the measure is necessary because of the high living costs in big Swiss cities such as Geneva and Zurich.

But, even taking into account purchasing power in notoriously expensive Switzerland, it would be the highest minimum wage in the world, according the the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

Polls suggest the proposal will be rejected.

Swiss voter Yuri Ortelli said the high wage would constrain employers, explaining: “Let’s say a farmer wants to hire someone on his farm – if he has to pay 4,000 Swiss francs [per month] minimum and if he doesn’t have it, he won’t be able to hire. That’s why I’ll vote against.”