In the popular vote on 27 September 2020, a majority of 60.3 per cent accepted the introduction of a two-week paternity leave, financed by the compensation for loss of earnings (IPG). At its meeting on 21 October 2020, the Federal Council set the effective date of the relevant amendment to 1 January 2021 and adopted the corresponding implementing provisions.
The introduction of paternity leave requires an amendment to the Loss of Earnings Compensation Ordinance (OIPG). The main adjustments consist in clarifying the provisions that currently apply only to mothers, so that they are extended to fathers. There are some specificities related to the possibility of taking paternity leave in a flexible way in the six months following the birth of the child. Therefore, contrary to what happens with maternity allowance, the right to paternity allowance will not be extinguished with the resumption of gainful employment. For the same reason, the provision that allows mothers to postpone the start of the payment of maternity allowance if the infant is hospitalized for at least three weeks will not apply to fathers.The paternity allowance will also be paid to unemployed fathers. The service can be requested once the leave has been taken in its entirety; the indemnities will then be paid in a single payment.
Increase in the IPG contribution rate
To finance paternity leave, the IPG contribution rate will rise from 0.45 to 0.5 percent on 1 January 2021. For 2021, the introduction of the paternity allowance will lead to costs for IPG of around 230 million francs.
Department Federal Social Insurance Office FOAS