Paternity leave: overview

With 60.3% of voters supporting this initiative (79.4% for the Canton of Geneva), paternity leave should come into force in January 2021.

The OFAS (Federal Social Insurance Office) predicts that around 91,000 fathers per year would be eligible for paternity leave allowances.


Setup and operation

Fathers will be able to take their two-week paternity leave within six months of the birth. Entitlement to the allowance and the framework period run from the day of birth.

Paternity leave can be taken as a block of 14 days (including weekends) or in the form of isolated days (10 days). In agreement with his employer, the father is free to take a leave of two consecutive weeks, twice a week or even to distribute the days over the six months. This flexibility takes into account the planning modalities of both families and employers. If the leave is taken in the form of days, the father receives 2 additional daily allowances for 5 compensated days. These days are granted in addition to the holidays. The employer therefore does not have the right to shorten these.

During paternity leave, fathers will receive 80% of their salary (maximum 196 francs per day). Thus, 14 daily allowances will be paid for two weeks, ie a maximum amount of CHF 2,744. As with maternity leave, the payment of the uncovered 20% of the salary remains at the goodwill of the employer.

During the period in which a man exercises his right to paternity allowance, he does not in principle receive any compensation from other social insurance (e.g. unemployment insurance or invalidity insurance benefits). The same principle of coordination already applies to maternity allowance.

Contrary to what is provided for in the case of maternity, the employer can terminate the employment contract of a man who is entitled to paternity leave. He can terminate the contract before or during the six-month framework period.



As with maternity leave, paternity leave will be financed by the federal loss of earnings allowance (APG) scheme.

To finance paternity leave, a 0.05 point increase in the social contributions concerned will be implemented. The deduction to finance APG will be increased from 0.45 to 0.5% of salary.

Regarding the payment of daily allowances, the principles in force for other loss of earnings allowances (in the event of service or maternity) apply. The AVS compensation funds are responsible for paying the indemnities under the APG scheme.

“Fathers will be able to take their two-week paternity leave within six months of the birth.”


What are APGs?

The system of loss of earnings allowances (APG) compensates part of the loss of earnings of people who perform military or civil service or civil protection. APGs also compensate for loss of earnings in the event of maternity. People receive 80% of the average income from their paid employment, up to a maximum of CHF 196 per day. APG contributions are collected by the compensation funds together with those for AVS and AI (disability insurance) and are compulsory. Contributions currently amount to 0.45% of determining income. From the gross salary of each employee is deducted 0.225% per month (included in the total of 5.275% for AVS, AI and APG). Employers pay the same amount.

Self-employed persons pay 0.45% of taxable income (included in the total of 9.95% for AVS, AI and APG). For people without gainful employment, contributions are calculated on the basis of wealth.



Men will be entitled to paternity leave if:

  • The recipient of the paternity allowance is the legal father of the child. Filiation is established by marriage with the mother, by recognition or by judgment (the text excludes, however, adoptive fathers and same-sex couples);
  • The father exercises a gainful activity at the birth of his child, as an employee or as a self-employed person;
  • He has been insured for compulsory AVS during the nine months preceding the birth;
  • He has worked at least five months during those nine months.


As soon as the paternity leave comes into force, the related social insurance contributions will be modified. Your payslip will therefore reflect this change.

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