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UZH News

Equal Pay Analysis 2023

Equal Pay for Equal Work

The results of this year’s equal pay analysis show that in 2023, women and men working at UZH continued to earn equal pay for work of equal value. Equal pay is enshrined in Swiss law under the Gender Equality Act.


It is of great importance to the university that its employees are paid equally (image: Rafael Walthert)

The most recent equal pay analysis is based on over 11,700 data sets from three staff groups at UZH: professors, non-professorial academic staff, and administrative and technical staff. The proportion of female employees was 58.5 percent. The equal pay analysis was based on the reference date of 31 August 2023.

A multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the salaries of female and male employees, taking into account objective factors that have an effect on an employee’s salary. These include individual factors such as education, professional experience and years spent at UZH, as well as work-related aspects such as professional position or skill level required to perform the work. In addition, gender is included as an independent variable in the regression function. If this variable has no significant impact (less than 5 percent) on employee pay, there is no statistical evidence of discrimination, according to the federal guidelines.

Overall no salary discrimination

UZH’s equal pay analysis for 2023 revealed a satisfactory result for the fourth time in a row: when all the other circumstances are the same, women earn 1.4 percent less than men. This result is well below the government’s tolerance threshold of a maximum of 5 percent. We can therefore say that pay at UZH is equal across the board.

Similarly good findings emerged from the three previous equal pay analyses – in the last analysis done in 2020, for example, the difference was 1.3 percent.

“The positive findings of the 2023 equal pay analysis again confirm that the existing cantonal salary band system with its classification according to job profiles works,” says Christian Schwarzenegger, Vice President Faculty Affairs and Scientific Information. “In addition, the clear and compulsory classification guidelines for certain academic roles and junior academic positions help to ensure equal pay for men and women.”

Equal pay is an important issue

It is of great importance to the university that its employees are paid equally. If, on review, a position is objectively found to have been classified at too low a level, the classification is corrected by Human Resources. This is done on an ongoing basis. “It is rarely necessary, but when we do discover unequal treatment in terms of pay, we contact the manager responsible,” says Karin Bertschinger, Leader Human Resources Department.

According to article 13a of the Gender Equality Act, since July 2020 companies or institutions with more than 100 employees have been obliged to carry out internal equal pay analyses. As the analysis in 2020 found that men and women were paid equal salaries at UZH, with any unexplained discrepancies falling below the government’s statistical tolerance threshold of maximum 5 percent, UZH is actually not obliged to carry out further analyses. The Executive Board of the University nevertheless decided to voluntarily carry out another analysis in 2023, as the topic is very important to UZH. The analysis has been audited by the independent accounting firm BDO AG – you can find the audit report from BDO AG here. The Executive Board of the University has decided to conduct another equal pay analysis in three years.

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