A government commission has come out in favour of paid paternity leave and has until 2 March 2019 to discuss a plan to offer new fathers two weeks of paid leave, according to RTS.
The aim is to come up with a compromise between the 20 days in a referendum being put to voters at some point in the future, and the Federal Council’s rejection of any paid paternity leave.
The commission said it is important to encourage changes that allow parents to share family responsibilities more equally.
Any paid paternity leave would need to conform to rules applied to maternity pay. It would need to be no more than 80% of average pay and be calculated on a daily basis. The father would need to have paid social security taxes for nine months leading up to the birth, be working at the time of birth and take the leave within six months of the birth.
In Switzerland, mums are guaranteed 14 weeks paid leave while many dads are guaranteed none. This encourages couples to favour men’s careers, even when some mums are better educated and have more promising careers than their partners.
One criticism of the paternity leave set out in the upcoming referendum is its cost. One option for keeping the cost down while promoting equality would be to replace maternity and paternity leave with a pool of paid parental leave, which can be taken by either parent.