As of 1 January 2021, Switzerland will have a new law concerning paternity leave.
Below is a round-up of the most important aspects of the new paternity leave:
From 1 January 2021, the amended legislation foresees the following:
(i) on the one hand, a paternity compensation of a maximum of 14 days’ allowance enshrined in the Income Compensation Act (see below for further details) and
(ii) on the other hand, 2 weeks of paternity leave for fathers employed under Article 329g(1) Swiss Code of Obligations (CO) (fathers may claim this independently of the conditions in place for the paternity compensation).
The child's legal father is entitled to paternity compensation and paternity leave. No such entitlement exists in the case of an adoption of a child.
For the paternity compensation, the father must meet all of the following conditions cumulatively:
On the other hand, the 2-week-long paternity leave only requires that the employment contract of the legal father is subject to the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO).
The father may claim this if his child is born after 31.12.2020.
Paternity leave lasts 2 weeks, i.e. 10 work-free days. (Paternity leave may not be deducted from the vacation balance.)
Paternity leave may be taken within the first 6 months after the birth of the child. The leave may be taken in two solid weeks or as single days.
Just like the maternity compensation, the paternity compensation is financed through the Income Compensation Scheme (ICS). For this purpose, the ICS contribution will increase from 0.45% to 0.50%. as of 1 January 2021. Accordingly, this will bring with it an adjustment to payroll systems.
The compensation will be paid in the form of a daily allowance and amounts to 80% of the gross income prior to the birth of the child. It is capped at CHF 196 per day. As such, the maximum compensation for two weeks of paternity leave will be CHF 2,744.
Example of an employee: In case the monthly salary was CHF 5,000 before the birth, the compensation will be about CHF 133 per day (5,000*0.8/30).
Example of a self-employed person: In case the annual salary subject to OASI (AHV) was CHF 70,000, the compensation will be about CHF 155 per day (5,000*0.8/360).
Paternity compensation must be applied for at the relevant compensation office. Generally, the compensation is applied for by the employee through the employer. This is possible as soon as the leave has been taken in full. The compensation is thus paid only once.
Fathers who are Swiss citizens or EU/EFTA citizens may claim the time they were insured/employed abroad in an EU/EFTA member state to count towards the minimum insurance or employment period.