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:
What is the difference between paternity leave and paternity compensation?
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).
Who is entitled to paternity compensation/leave?
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:
- He must be gainfully employed at the time of the birth (either as employee or self-employed) or draw benefits from a social or private insurance (e.g. daily allowances from the unemployment or disability insurance).
- He must have been enrolled in the social insurance program AHV for at least 9 months prior to the birth.
- He must have been employed for at least 5 months during this period.
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.
How long does the paternity leave last?
Paternity leave lasts 2 weeks, i.e. 10 work-free days. (Paternity leave may not be deducted from the vacation balance.)
When can the paternity leave be taken?
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.