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September 24, 2020

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Switzerland – New Gender Pay Gap Requirements

Switzerland has joined the growing list of jurisdictions to introduce legislation to address the gender pay gap.

Effective July 1, 2020, employers with 100 or more employees (including part-time and hourly employees) will be required to conduct an internal gender pay gap analysis every four years until June 30, 2032. Affected employers will be required to complete their first internal analysis by June 30, 2021.

If the requirement to carry out the analysis is the stick, the carrot is that where an employer’s analysis demonstrates that pay equity has been achieved, they are no longer required to conduct further analyses. The Swiss government provides employers with a free tool for conducting the analyses, which can be found here.

Employers will also be required to submit their analyses for independent verification by June 30, 2022. Independent verification may be conducted by: (i) a firm authorized under the Audit Supervision Act; (ii) an organization that meets the requirements of Article 7 of the Gender Equality Act; or (iii) employee representation pursuant to the Swiss Workers’ Participation Act.

Notably, the new legislation does not provide for sanctions or penalties in the event that an employer does not conduct an analysis or there or where pay equity is not achieved. However, it does require employers to provide employees with written notice regarding the results of each analysis within one year of their verification. Additionally, publicly listed companies in Switzerland must publish the results of their analyses in their annual financial reports. Importantly, employees who file suit against their employers alleging a breach of equal pay legislation will be permitted to use the results of their employer’s analysis as evidence to support their claim.

This legislation continues a global trend that has seen numerous countries introduce measures to address the gender pay gap.  Employers should closely review their policies to ensure compliance with these new requirements.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 312

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About this Author

Daniel Ornstein, Litigation Attorney, Proskauer Law FIrm
Partner

Dan Ornstein leads our London labor and employment team and is a co-head of our International Labor & Employment Group. He has over 15 years of experience dealing with a broad range of UK and international employment issues. Dan is a go-to advisor for clients who rely on his sophisticated advice both on day-to-day matters and high-stakes situations. Dan is ranked in Chambers UK, which describes him as "incredibly analytical", "incredibly intelligent and an excellent sounding board” and someone who “displays both empathy and an assured knowledge of the best way to...

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Tony S. Martinez Labor & Employment Attorney Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Associate

Tony Seda Martinez is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and assists clients in a wide range of labor and employment law matters.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Tony attended Rutgers School of Law. While in law school, he interned for the United States Attorney’s Office, the Honorable Judge Esther Salas of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the Honorable Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. In addition, Tony served as a senior notes and comments editor of the Rutgers Law Review and a clinical law student at the Rutgers Community & Transactional Lawyering Clinic. Tony also served as a research assistant to Professor Bernard Bell and as a teaching assistant to Professor Taja-Nia Henderson.

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