September 12, 2019 - 16:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Swiss parliament on Wednesday, September 11 backed a proposal that will see fathers in the country get two weeks of paid paternity leave, The Local Switzerland reports.
Fathers will be able to use that leave any time in the first six months after their child is born.
The vote in the lower house of the Swiss parliament marks a sea change for Switzerland, which currently has no statutory paternity leave, although many fathers can take a “family day” on the birth of their child.
The move, which was backed by all parties except the conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP), is expected to cost around 229 million Swiss francs (€209.5 million) with employers and employees sharing the extra costs.
Wednesday’s vote in favour of paternity leave comes after years of debate in the Swiss parliament on the issue. It also represents a compromise position by the parliament in the face of a popular initiative calling for fathers to be given four weeks' leave.
On Wednesday it was not clear if that popular initiative would still go before voters at a referendum.
The new paternity leave arrangements will now come into force if voters reject the four-week proposal at a possible referendum or if the referendum’s backers decide not to push ahead with the vote in the wake of the parliament’s decision to green light two weeks' leave.
Mothers in Switzerland receive 14 weeks' leave at 80 percent pay up to a maximum of 196 francs a day.