The bill for paid paternity leave came into force on 1 January 2021. This means that fathers will now be able to take two weeks’ paid leave within six months of the birth of their child. As with maternity leave, paternity leave will be funded via the earnings compensation scheme (EO).
Two weeks’ paternity leave
Since 1 January 2021, working fathers are entitled to two weeks’ paternity leave. This leave can either be taken all at once (weekends included) or on the basis of individual days. As is the case with maternity leave, weekends are included in the compensation. Consequently, fathers receive 14 daily allowances and are entitled to a total of 10 days’ off work.
The paternity leave must be taken within six months of the birth of the child. If a father takes his leave on a weekly basis, he will receive 7 daily allowances per week. If he takes his leave on the basis of individual days, he will receive 2 additional daily allowances for every 5 days of compensation provided. Paternity leave is granted in addition to annual leave, meaning that employers may not reduce vacation entitlement. Further, the notice period is extended if the employer terminates the employment contract before the full entitlement to paternity leave has been used up. The extension of the notice period is equivalent to the remaining number of days of leave.
Fathers who work on a part-time basis are entitled to 10 days’ leave in accordance with their level of employment in percent (of a full-time 100% position), which equates to 14 daily allowances of 80% of the actual part-time income.
Entitlement to compensation for the loss of earned income
The recipient of paternity compensation must be the legal father of the child. The
child-parent relationship is established via legal marriage with the mother, recognition of paternity or by court ruling. There is no entitlement to paternity compensation when a child is adopted.
Fathers who – at the time of the child’s birth – are in work, either in a capacity as employee or on a self-employed basis, receive paternity compensation. Fathers who are unable to work through unemployment, illness, accident or disability and who receive the corresponding daily benefits are likewise entitled to receive paternity compensation.
The father must have been insured under the OASI scheme in the 9 months immediately preceding the birth of the child and, during this period, been gainfully employed for at least 5 months.
Amount of compensation
As with maternity leave, the compensation awarded amounts to 80% of the average income earned prior to the birth of the child, but no more than 196 Swiss francs per day. Fourteen daily allowances are paid out for two weeks’ leave, giving a maximum amount of 2,744 Swiss francs.
Costs and funding
The two weeks’ paternity leave is funded via the earnings compensation scheme (EO), i.e., primarily via contributions from persons in gainful employment and employers. The Federal Social Insurance Office estimates that, upon the bill coming into effect, the costs of paternity leave will amount to approximately 230 million Swiss francs per year. To cover this cost, the EO contribution will have to be increased from its current level of 0.45 percent of wages to 0.50 percent. This equates to an increase of 50 centimes for every 1,000 Swiss francs of salary. In the case of employees, their employers will cover 50% of this amount.
Last modification 07.04.2021