News Salary Administration / Social Security Insurances

Correct implementation of paternity leave

The bill for paid paternity leave, which has been clearly accepted by the Swiss electorate, will come into force on 1 January 2021.


All working fathers of children born after the 31 December 2020 are entitled to two weeks of paternity leave. This leave must be taken within six months of the child's birth, either in full or split into individual days.


Who is entitled
The right is based on the same principles as maternity leave. Fathers who are employed or self-employed at the time of the child’s birth are entitled to compensation. In addition, they must have been compulsorily insured with the AHV for nine months before the birth and employed for at least five months during this period.


Fathers who are unemployed at the time of birth are entitled to compensation, if they have received daily unemployment insurance benefits until the date of birth or, if they fulfil the contribution period for receiving unemployment benefit on the day of birth.


The entitlement ends after 6 months or after compensation. In case of adoption, there is no entitlement to paternity leave.


Amount and duration of compensation
As in case of maternity leave, the compensation amounts to 80% of the average earned income before the birth of the child, up to a maximum of Fr. 196 per day.


A father is entitled to a maximum of 14 daily allowances. He can either compensate the vacation by the day or by the week.


Request for compensation
The compensation is not paid automatically, it must be requested from the appropriate compensation fund. It goes either directly to the employee or to the employer if the latter continues to pay the wage during the vacation. You have to consider whether you pass on the compensation 1:1 or if you make it up to 100% continued salary payment.


Costs and financing
The two-week paternity leave is financed by the Erwerbsersatzordnung (EO), i.e. mainly with contributions from employees and employers. The Federal Social Insurance Office estimates the cost of the leave to be around CHF 230 million per year when the bill comes into force. For this, the contribution to the EO must be increased from the current 0.45% to 0.50% of wages. In the case of employees, their employers will pay half of this amount. So remember to adjust the deductions accordingly from 1 January 2021.



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Kathrin Kühn 23 November 2020


Keywords: paternity leave