Study title
Evaluation of the effectiveness of the equal opportunity law
Ref study 8187
Study language German
Contributing institutions
  • Evaluation
  • Arbeit
  • Gleichstellung von Frau und Mann
Geographical space
  • Switzerland
The evaluation mandate is based on a motion by National Councilor Vreni Hubmann (02.3142). Hubmann demanded that retaliatory firing in private law employment relationships should be void rather than contestable and that the duration of protection against dismissal should be extended appropriately (amendment Art. 10 Gender Equality Act - GEA). Since the topic of retaliatory firing cannot be examined on its own, the evaluation was extended to the question of how the Gender Equality Act (GEA) meets his claim. Possible weaknesses of the law should be pointed out and any need for reform identified. The activities and scope of action of the Federal Office for Gender Equality are not the subject of the evaluation, and in particular not the financial aid under the Gender Equality Act. These two areas have already been examined in earlier evaluations.
The evaluation comprises three levels:
- Investigation and evaluation of cases concerning the Gender Equality Act (courts and arbitration boards)
- Interviewing various stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Gender Equality Act on their experiences
- Statistical analysis of wages and occupational status of women and men (based on the Swiss Earnings Structure Survey) as the most important indicators of an unequal employment situation. The third point is governed by a separate mandate from the Federal Statistical Office and not part of the project presented here.
The topics examined here are:
- Knowledge level of the GEA and its regulations
- Influence of the GEA on the development and status of equality in the work environment
- Concrete cases of discrimination: at the level of companies, counseling, conciliation boards and courts
- New regulations in the GEA: collective actions, simplified burden of proof, protection against dismissal and sexual harassment as well as
- Legislative development
As points of reference of the impact assessment are the problems in the enforcement of equal rights for women and men that the GEA was supposed to solve:
- Lack of awareness of discrimination (instrument in law: general prohibition of discrimination)
- Exposure (instrument: collective action right)
- Difficult adducing of proof (instrument: simplified burden of proof)
- Missing protection against dismissal (instrument: protection against dismissal)
- Lack of support (instrument: arbitration bodies, funding of counseling centers)
- Expensive procedures (instrument: freedom of costs for the procedure)
- Taboo topic sexual harassment (instrument: liability of the employer for sexual harassment)
Methods (description)
Das Forschungsdesign kombiniert quantitative und qualitative Methoden und besteht aus folgenden Bausteinen:
- Baustein 1: Literatur- und Dokumentenanalyse
- Baustein 2: Befragung aller zuständigen Gerichte und statistische Grobauswertung der Gerichtsurteile. Standardisierte Befragung schriftlich, Vollerhebung
- Baustein 3: Befragung der Schlichtungsstellen und Auswertung der Schlichtungsfälle. Standardisierte Befragung schriftlich, Vollerhebung
- Baustein 4: Befragung von Organisationen und Beratungsstellen der Arbeitnehmendensseite. Standardisierte Befragung schriftlich Stichprobe von 1'510 Vertreter/innen von Gewerkschaften, Berufsverbänden, Frauenorganisationen, spezialisierten Beratungsstellen, Männerorganisationen und Gleichstellungsbüros aus der ganzen Schweiz
- Baustein 5: Unternehmensbefragung. Standardisierte Befragung schriftlich, repräsentative geschichtete Stichprobe von 5767 Unternehmen und Verwaltungen aus Privatwirtschaft und Öffentlichem Sektor
- Baustein 6: Inhaltsanalytische Auswertung der Gerichtsfälle aus einzelnen Kantonen. Inhaltsanalyse, offen
- Baustein 7: Qualitative Vertiefung durch persönliche Interviews mit Akteurinnen und Akteuren, die professionell mit dem Gleichstellungsgesetz zu tun haben. Halbstandardisierte, leitfadenbasierte Interviews mit 20 Vertreter/innen von Gewerkschaften, Berufsverbänden, Frauenorganisationen, spezialisierten Beratungsstellen, Gleichstellungsbüros und Anwaltskanzleien.
Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
Financed by

Mandating institution(s)
  • Eidg. Departement des Innern - EDI, Eidg. Büro für die Gleichstellung von Frau und Mann - EBG, Schwarztorstr. 51, 3003 Bern
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Web
Date created 27.03.2018
Date modified 27.03.2018
Start - End date 01.02.2003 - 28.06.2006