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Switzerland: Basel-City to become the fifth Swiss Canton with Statutory Minimum Wage

Author: André Lerch

On June 13, 2021, a majority of voters in the Canton of Basel-City voted in favor of a statutory minimum wage of CHF 21 per hour (approx. USD 22). The new minimum wage applies to employees whose usual place of work is in the Canton of Basel-City.

Basel-City thus becomes the fifth Swiss Canton with a statutory minimum wage, and the first in the German-speaking part of the country.

Neuchâtel was the first to approve a minimum wage, CHF 20/hour in 2017. Geneva has the highest: CH 23 per hour, approved last year. Ticino and Jura also introduced minimum wages.

At the national level, the issue was put before Swiss voters in an initiative launched by trade unions in 2014: a resounding 76.3% of the Swiss voters rejected what would have been the world’s highest nationwide minimum wage of CHF 22.