Maternity / paternity allowances

Concept

In order to enable young mothers to take care of their newborn child, Swiss law provides, under certain conditions, for an entitlement to maternity allowances from the moment of birth. These maternity allowances are paid every day for 14 weeks after the birth of the baby.

Gainful employment

These maternity allowances are reserved for women who were gainfully employed before giving birth. Under certain conditions, women who are unemployed or on sick leave may also receive this benefit.

Conditions of entitlement

The young mother must meet several conditions in order to receive this maternity benefit. She must have paid contributions to the old-age and survivors' insurance scheme (AVS) for a certain number of months before giving birth. She must also have been gainfully employed for a certain period during her pregnancy.

Entitlement to wages

The question of a possible entitlement to wages from the employer arises if the employee does not meet the conditions for maternity benefits. The employer must pay her salary for a limited period of time, depending on the duration of the employment relationship.

Birth

The entitlement to maternity benefit begins when the mother has given birth to a live child. If the child is stillborn or dies at birth, the employee will receive the benefit provided that the pregnancy lasted at least a certain period of time.

End

The employee is no longer entitled to loss-of-earnings benefits if she returns to work early before the end of her maternity leave but after the period of prohibition from working set by law. She is not entitled to do so for a certain period after the birth.

Amount

Like military loss-of-earnings allowances, maternity allowances are capped. This means that the amount of maternity benefit may not exceed a certain daily amount, regardless of the employee's salary.

 Female managers are penalised. During maternity leave, the employer may be obliged to supplement the maternity benefit with 80% of the salary.

Social insurance

In order for the young mother to continue to be covered by social insurance, she is required to continue to pay most social contributions. However, some of these contributions are suspended for the duration of the maternity benefit.

Paternity benefits

From 1 January 2021, young fathers will be entitled to paternity leave during which they will receive paternity benefits from the loss of earnings insurance.

These days of leave must be taken within a certain period of time after the birth of the child. The amount of the daily allowance covers part of the employee's salary.

Health problems of the child

If the child has serious health problems, the employee may, under certain conditions, request that the payment of maternity benefit be postponed.

 In addition, from 1 January 2021, both working parents will be entitled to additional loss-of-earnings allowances when they have to interrupt their work to care for their seriously ill or injured minor child. These daily allowances will be limited in time. 

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