Motherhood can be a real job risk

Unemployment among women aged 25 to 34 is higher than those of men of the same age group. Keystone/Gaetan Bally

One in seven working women in Switzerland has lost their job because she became a mother, according to a new study.

This content was published on June 2, 2019 - 16:22
swissinfo.ch/urs

Nearly 15% of respondents in a survey said they had been unemployed involuntarily for a while after giving birth to a child, the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper quotes a study commissioned by the Federal Social Security Office.

The main reason given for laying off a mother was the lack of suitable part-time jobs in a company.

In other cases, it was the lack of daytime childcare facilities, according to the study carried out by the Bern-based BASS consultancies.

The results are based on a survey of about 3,000 women on maternity leave.

Experts have pointed out that the 16-week rule which protects mothers from being dismissed is too short for many women.

Michael Siegenthaler, researcher Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology, is quoted as saying there is statistical evidence that maternity may have an impact on female unemployment.

In the same newspaper article, Fredy Greuter from the Swiss Employers’ Association points out that many small and medium-sized companies struggle to find solutions for women with children.

“Many women prefer to have a small part-time job. But it is not possible for every job profile,” he is quoted as saying.

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