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Federal law on mandatory paid maternity leave scheme

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
The federal act on compensation for loss of income by reason of service has been extended to reason of maternity (in force since 1st of July 2005). Women are entitled to a mandatory maternity leave of at least 14 weeks at 80% of their wages, but no more than 196 CHF ? 161,25 Euros - daily allowances. The extension of the federal act assures sufficient resources also to new mothers who have had to interrupt work, in addition to people serving in the army. Cantons are free to decide to give higher allowances, for a longer period and to introduce adoption allowances. / Eligibility criteria: working women (employed, self-employed or in unemployment ? previously receiving unemployment, health or disability benefits), insured under the AHV for at least nine months and who have worked for at least five months prior the birth.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • wage
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
In force since 1st of July 2005.
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Budgets: 580 million CHF - 47,72 million Euros - in 2008, 713 million CHF ? 586,59 million Euros - in 2013
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: unknown
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
Guarantee sufficient resources to working women who have to interrupt work due to maternity, through a national mandatory maternity leave scheme.
Nature of the innovation-long-term perspective
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • leave schemes (new mandatory maternity scheme defining minimal eligibility criteria and benefit levels nationwide)
Intended target group
Working age population
  • care responsibilities (care for children [0-16/16+], for elderly or other family members) (newborn child up to 14 weeks at least)
  • employment situation (typical work)
  • main source of income: paid work
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body
  • beneficiaries/users
  • central state
  • employers (organised or individual)
Clarification of the role of various actors
The leave schemes are financed by social contributions from employers and employees, each paying 0,5% of the salary.
Intended output
  • leave schemes
Intended and unintended outcomes
Approximately 70% of women giving birth meet the eligibility criteria of maternity / allowances and benefit from them. It is estimated that the majority of recipients take up the maximum length of paid leave. /
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