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Swiss family life Expert committee calls for 38 weeks parental leave


The average age of women giving birth in Switzerland is around 32.


A government advisory body recommends the introduction of paternity leave and a higher maternity leave allowance than what is currently granted to new parents.

In a study published on Mondayexternal link, the Federal Coordination Commission for Family Affairsexternal link, recommends 14 weeks for the mother and eight weeks for the father. The remaining 16 weeks would be split between the spouses, with no obligation to take them.

Such leave would be paid at 80% of salary and could be taken within three years of the child's birth.

Elisabeth Zemp, who directed the research, vigorously defended this more generous formula in an interview with Le Matin Dimanche newspaper.

“Currently, half of OECD countries offer maternity or parental leave of at least 43 weeks." And she adds that none of the countries that introduced them have given up.

The members of the commission base their recommendations on the findings of 140 scientific studies published between 2010 and 2017.

New mothers in Switzerland are currently entitled to a minimum 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, recuping up to 80% of their income.

+ Lean more about maternity leave and childcare in Switzerland

This benefit is not without conditions. Women need to have been insured at least nine months prior to the birth of a baby and worked at least five months during their pregnancy.

They must still be employed at the time of birth or be claiming unemployment, sickness, accident or disability benefits.

Switzerland has no statutory paternity leave.

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