Being a working mum or dad is not always easy in Switzerland. Long school lunch breaks with no school supervision mean parents need to collect children from school in the middle of the day or find lunch time care which is often over subscribed. Finding help to look after babies can also be challenging and expensive. Structures that allow mums and dads to share the responsibility can help, especially when both work.
Results of a recent survey by Travail.Suisse presented in the newspaper 24 Heures showed that 80% of respondents were in favour of laws that would ensure paid paternity leave. All sections of the population were in favour with at least 70% of all age groups voting for such a move. Those 30 to 40 years old were the most strongly in favour and francophone Swiss at 89% were ahead of their Swiss-German-speaking compatriots at 79%.
There was less agreement on duration however. 40% favoured four weeks or more, 40% two weeks and the remainder a shorter period.
The subject of paid paternity leave could soon be on the Swiss parliament’s agenda. Last April the National social security commission accepted an initiative for two weeks of paid paternity leave put forward by Martin Candinas of the PDC. Under the proposal new dads would receive 80% of their pay up to a maximum of CHF 196 per day for 10 days. Payments would be made out of social security funds.
The next step is acceptance by a States Council commission that will respond on 1 September. If it clears this hurdle the initiative will end up in parliament.
Full 24 Heures article – in French