Switzerland to vote on how much the boss gets paid

Swiss businessman and senator Thomas Minder (3rdR) pose on March 3, 2013 with members of the support committee behind a poster reading 'Yes' in French while waiting for the result of a nationwide vote in Schaffhausen. Switzerland took part in a popular vote on whether to rein in executive pay and force business leaders to give up departure compensation known as golden parachutes. 

Executive compensation has been coming under increased scrutiny in recent years in the United States. This fall, the SEC proposed new rules requiring companies to make CEO-employee pay ratios public.

But the U.S. isn't the only country where the matter is being discussed. In Switzerland next week, voters will go to the polls to take sharp curbs on executive pay under consideration.

This isn't the first time the issue has gone before Swiss voters this year. In March, Switzerland voted to restrict top salaries.

Now, voters will have their say on an even stricter set of regulations, which would prohibit the top manager in a company from earning more than 12 times what the lowest paid employee makes.

In the U.S., it is not uncommon for a top executive to make hundreds, even thousands of times more than a typical worker. Abercrombie and Fitch pays its CEO 1,600 times the average pay and compensation for its employees, according to a Bloomberg analysis. The ration at Oracle was 1,200 to 1.

About the author

Imogen Foulkes is a reporter with the BBC.

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