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Old 17.01.2015, 13:08
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Frontaliers pay ?

The effects of the CH/E decision are already being felt in so many areas.

But here is today's question in the local paper 'should frontaliers pay be cut by 10% to compensate, or should they be paid in Euros'? (remember that frontaliers tax, apart from in Geneva, are paid in France, not Switzerland).

Discuss (and ... where does that leave expat pay?).

It may seem bizarre, at first glance, but the frontaliers Unions are keen to discuss this and even agree. Because if the industries they work in (watch making, precision engineering, etc) go downhill or worse, due to 15% increase in export prices- they will be the first to go down with them. With the Geneva Watch Fair this week, the timing couldn't be worse for the luxury watch industry- will be interesting to see the order books after the fair, and the effects.

Expats can choose to move away (although choices are becoming limited, perhaps...) but frontaliers can't, as they have families and most of them have built large family houses in nearby France. Complex- yes (just asking for opinions here- I am trying to look at all aspects here and no axe to grind).

Last edited by Odile; 17.01.2015 at 13:36.
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Old 17.01.2015, 13:31
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

In my opinion, companies in Switzerland should pay salaries in CHF. If people choose to live in Switzerland or a bordering country, that decision is theirs (and supported by whatever permit & tax agreements the individual countries agree to).

Why a company should pay someone less because they live in France, is beyond me. What next, ask people where they live and pay people less who choose to live in a crappy area of Basel Land rather than the centre of Basel? Pay people more if they decide to spend a lot on renting a penthouse apartment? Companies pay a salary (theoretically) related to what the person is worth to them. That person is then totally responsible for managing their salary vs their expenses.

If a company can't complete because their exports have gone up 15% and hence have no choice but to reduce workforce costs, then any pay-cut should be across the board not just those staff who live abroad.
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Old 17.01.2015, 13:39
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

Agreed- but if that means that if and when the workforce will have to be cut- frontaliers will be the first to go, hence the reason the frontaliers unions and members are keen to negotiate and compromise. They will still be much much better off than their French friends working (or not working) on much lower salaries across the border.
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Old 17.01.2015, 13:41
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

Why would frontaliers be the first to go?
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Old 17.01.2015, 13:43
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

because they do not pay tax here, and do not have their social life here, do not do their shopping here (apart from petrol and fags), etc.
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Old 17.01.2015, 13:46
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

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because they do not pay tax here, and do not have their social life here, do not do their shopping here (apart from petrol and fags), etc.
Companies decide who gets made redundant, not the local government. Where people spend their money is totally irrelevant to a company's hire&fire decisions.
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Old 17.01.2015, 13:46
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

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because they do not pay tax here, and do not have their social life here, do not do their shopping here (apart from petrol and fags), etc.
You're assuming that a company's accountants have a conscience?
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Old 17.01.2015, 13:48
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

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because they do not pay tax here, and do not have their social life here, do not do their shopping here (apart from petrol and fags), etc.
I can't see an employer getting rid of person A, who is better at their job than person B, just because person A pays tax in France and person B pays tax in Switzerland. The company would keep whoever is best for the company.
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Old 17.01.2015, 13:55
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

Of course, if 2 workers have the same qualities and experience, then other things influence decision. If someone is your neighbour, kids go to school together, you belong to the same ski-club, where brought up together- etc- then yes, it can have an influence in decision making. And local govt works very closely together with local businesses- if local people are unemployed they become very expensive for the local system.

As said, I have no axe to grind here. Trying to avoid kneejerk reactions and looking at this in depth from all sides. Last thing frontaliers want to do is lose their jobs, that is for sure. Even with a paycut, they will still be much much better off than their neighbours, family and friends who work in France.
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Old 17.01.2015, 13:59
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

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because they do not pay tax here, and do not have their social life here, do not do their shopping here (apart from petrol and fags), etc.
This is totaly irrelevant to a company
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:03
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

Well, I know many CEOs here, and it does matter to many of them, actually- as they are local and grew up here. Perhaps different in industries run by foreigners and expats. One of the most sucessful one is the son of Italian immigrants who grew up here and is very close to the community, for instance- belongs to the local Choir, ski-club, and many more. I've been working with several of them on local projects in recent years and it is clear local issues matter to them.

Plus the local gvt and of course Unions, have been putting a lot of pressure, via discussions, incentives, support, etc, etc, etc- to encourage local employers to employ local people, and to ensure salaries and conditions do not unfairly discriminate agains local workers.
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:04
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

I don't understand what this thread is about. There is no way a person would work for a company for a second class wage - they might accept a pay cut in line with the rest of the staff but if the company was uncompetitive they'd just fire some staff as usual. And with this currency shift, that's exactly what's going to happen. It's such an odd point to make that frontaliers don't spend money locally - even the Canton doesn't hire people based on how they spend.
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:06
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

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Well, I know many CEOs here, and it does matter to them, actually- as they are local and grew up here.
No you don't and no it doesn't. A CEO who makes hiring decisions based on how much people spend locally needs to remove himself immediately and go learn to crochet.
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:08
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

We can discuss many things- but really you can't tell me who I know or do not know, hey, really. Trying to imagine some doing 'crochet'- no, is not happening Now I also happen to know some of the local politicians who are currently discussing the knock-on effect- at the highest possible level- and have often discussed this with them, whether you believe this or not is of no interest to me, lol. Lots of emergency meetings at all political levels being called now, Commune/Gemeinde, regional, Cantonal- with and without employers, unions- to discuss solutions- it's going to be a busy few weeks and months.

I was born and bred here- and we all went to school together- and we all work on local projects together now- 60+ years later. Nobody goes to private school here (well I know of 1 kid who is a boarder at a famous catholic school in Valais, and 2 when I was a kid- you indeed know nothing about my family history.

Last edited by Odile; 17.01.2015 at 15:19.
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:13
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

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No you don't and no it doesn't.
Calling Odile a liar is out of order
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A CEO who makes hiring decisions based on how much people spend locally needs to remove himself immediately and go learn to crochet.
It may seem odd to you, but some CEOs are in fact quite human and compassionate, and care about their local communities - understanding the social contract. It's not all about the bottom line and satisfying the short term lusts of shareholders.
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:16
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

This sounds really bad to me and has another important aspect, if a company is allowed by law to hire some cheaper people at the same location, guess who will get fired / not-hired in future? This is the worst idea ever, I think whole economy should adjust to new situation by reducing costs / margins, being protective will bring only more problems, it's as simple as that.
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:21
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

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frontaliers will be the first to go.
Frontaliers have always been and will always be the fist to go. No currency crisis changes anything about this fact. No big deal really, you can all keep calm and stay happy.
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:28
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

Jaceq, many frontaliers are employed at lower wages already, and are prepared to take them, as they are still so much better off than working (or NOT working) in France- this is alreay squewing things. Which is why I am saying it is complex- and that kneejerk reactions not helpful. Swiss workers are certainly not keen on even lower wages for frontaliers- as this is too tempting for some local employers, especially those that do not have close ties to the region.

Funnily enough, I know many French families that have moved to Switzerland near here recently- as they feel insecure about the Euro and what is happening in France + the recent changes in health insurance- and because they prefer the school system, and are fed up with spending hours commuting. As local rents are low too- land is currently cheaper here than on the French side, would you believe, as prices in France have shot up due to high frontaliers wages. As said, complex, unusualy and 'weird' even- but certainly interesting.

Last edited by Odile; 17.01.2015 at 14:48.
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:44
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

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Jaceq, many frontaliers are employed at lower wages already, and are prepared to take them, as they are still so much better off than working (or NOT working) in France- this is alreay squewing things. Which is why I am saying it is complex- and that kneejerk reactions not helpful. Swiss workers are certainly not keen on even lower wages for frontaliers- as this is too tempting for some local employers, especially those that do not have close ties to the region.
But still far higher than they would get the other side of the line....
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Old 17.01.2015, 14:47
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Re: Frontaliers pay ?

There was some publicity a couple of years ago about a company that wanted to switch paying their grenzgängers from CHF to euro but the relevent Swiss Amt forbid the change. Can't find the link now
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