Negotiating your pay and benefits?

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CountryNegotiating your pay and benefits
Switzerland - negotiating your pay and benefits?

To negotiate a good contract and working con­ditions, you should be familiar with normal practice in the sector and not be too fussy. In sectors where pay is agreed officially, such as the public and semi-public sectors, there is little room to negotiate.

For minimum and low-wage jobs, it may be possible to agree an increase of about 5-10 % on the company's proposal. For management jobs, it is often the candidate who makes the first proposal on pay. For this to be acceptable, it is important to know the sector and com­pany habits. Remember also that there are big regional differences in pay in Switzerland. In many enterprises, women are paid at least 15 % less than men.

A 13th month's wage is considered a normal part of remuneration. Some companies even offer a 14th month's wage. Bonuses are only given if you achieve your targets.

Pay in Switzerland is quite high but does not include many non-statutory benefits, except for top management jobs. The most common non-statutory benefits that you can nego­tiate are: part of your travel to work may be considered as work time, medical insurance, additional employer contributions to a retire­ment fund and a company car. These ben­efits are negotiable except when they have already been negotiated in general agree­ments between employers' associations and trade unions.

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