Switzerland is a country characterized by high standards
of living. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of SUI and acronym for Switzerland. Human and political rights are highly respected.
At the same time, the income disparities are large and the
cost of living is relatively high. An example of the latter
is the country's costly childcare, which has meant that a
parent, usually the woman, has stayed home with the children
for financial reasons.
The labor market is stable with few conflicts.
Unemployment has been low since the late 1990s. This was
also the case during the financial crisis in 2008. In 2016,
4.9 percent of the unemployed population in Switzerland was
without employment. The proportion of working men is
slightly higher than the proportion of working women. A
large proportion of women work part-time.
The income differences between men and women are among
the higher in Europe. Mining industry, the real estate
industry, as well as healthcare and social care are the
areas that employ the largest part of the population.
The right to union involvement is guaranteed by the
Constitution. The strike right is also constitutionally
guaranteed, but limited to when strike is considered
reasonable. However, in comparison with the rest of Europe,
the role of trade unions is limited. Only one in five Swiss
people are unionized. Collective agreements are relatively
uncommon. Minimum wages do not exist. Salary is determined
in consultation between employers and employees.
The working week is between 45 and 50 hours, depending on
the sector. The A-checkout is compulsory. The unemployment
benefit amounts to about 70 percent of the salary.
Self-employed persons are not covered by the A fund.
The retirement age in Switzerland is 65 years for men and
64 years for women.
There is currently no information on child labor in
Switzerland. However, until the 1960s, it appeared that
authorities were relocating poor or orphaned children in
homes where they were forced to work in agriculture.
Welfare and poverty
The average income in Switzerland is approximately SEK
314,000. This can be compared with Sweden, where the average
income is around SEK 263,000. Switzerland is one of the
richest countries in the world. Nevertheless, 7 percent live
below the poverty line. The most affected are pensioners,
unemployed and single parents. People with unqualified work
are also particularly vulnerable.
Social insurance is mainly income-based. It is financed
privately and by the employer. Health insurance is
compulsory and privately financed.
All citizens residing in Switzerland are covered by the
security systems. These differ from canton to canton. The
low-income healthcare is subsidized by the state and canton.
Paperless people and people who are denied asylum are not
entitled to access the security systems. In addition, they
are only guaranteed emergency care. The extent of this is
determined by the individual canton.
The number of doctors and nurses per citizen in
Switzerland is one of the highest in the world. All citizens
have access to basic care. At the same time, healthcare is
expensive and completely state-funded healthcare is lacking.
Parental leave is unequal. Men have no statutory right to
parental leave. Full-time and part-time women, on the other
hand, are entitled to 14 weeks of paid parental leave and 2
weeks of unpaid leave. They are also prohibited from working
eight weeks after giving birth to children. In practice,
however, it appears that men are also offered a shorter
leave by their employers.
Child care is poorly developed. It is common for
relatives or mothers to take care of the children when they
are young. Most children start in preschool class at the age
of 4 and then start school when they are 6 years old. Child
support is available for children up to the age of 16,
followed by a study grant for the group of 16–25 years who
Switzerland has had a relatively progressive view of
LGBTQ people. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1942.
Registered partnerships were recognized in 2005, but had
been allowed for some time in some cantons.
Marriage between same-sex couples is not yet allowed.
Since 2016, people in same-sex partnerships have the right
to adopt each other's children.