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Swiss prepare to fight age discrimination

Swiss prepare to fight age discrimination

Employees over the age of 50 are considered more expensive in the labour market, partly due to higher social security contributions.

A people’s initiative, allowing workers over 50 to sue for age discrimination, will be launched soon, the NZZ am Sonntag reported on Sunday.

According to Heidi Joos, the CEO of Avenir 50 plusexternal link, one of the organisations behind the project, this proposed constitutional provision should allow employees to sue a company if they believe they have been dismissed for age-related reasons or if their application for employment has not been taken into account for the same reasons.

Employees over the age of 50 are considered more expensive in the labour market, partly due to higher social security contributions.

Companies make job offers with age restrictions or sort applications online using an age filter. “Discrimination on the basis of age must no longer be allowed to change the mindset of companies,” Joos said in the newspaper.

Trade unions are behind the initiative.

In Switzerland, any citizen has the right to propose new legislation by launching a people’s initiative. Typically these initiatives are proposed by interest groups.

Once the group has gathered at least 100,000 signatures over 18 months in support of the proposal, it is put to a nationwide vote.

There has to be a “double majority” (a majority of the people and a majority of the cantons), for an initiative to pass.

Full story here
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