Switzerland votes to create national paternity leave


Switzerland approved an electoral referendum on Sunday implementing paid paternity leave, The New York Times reported.Swiss fathers used to have only one day off after the birth of their children. As part of the referendum, they will be granted 10 days of paid leave, making Switzerland the last country in Western Europe to guarantee paid paternity leave.

In another voting initiative, voters rejected a proposal backed by the Swiss right to prevent European Union citizens from entering the country freely.

Parliament approved the paternity leave mandate in 2019. But conservative politicians have collected more than 50,000 signatures opposing it, so Swiss laws have demanded that it be submitted directly to voters. About 60 percent of voters approved the measure, with French-speaking and Italian-speaking regions of the country more likely to support it.

Any father using the leave will be entitled to 80% of his salary, but companies will have the option of extending the length of the leave or increasing the percentage of salary, according to the newspaper. The new law is expected to come into force on January 1.

“This is a clear sign for an advanced family policy,” said lawmaker Min Li Marti, although she added. “There is still a lot to do when it comes to uniting family and career.”

For example, Patricia Purtschert, professor of gender studies at the University of Bern, noted that the law would only apply to biological parents.

“This does not apply to adoptive or same-sex parents,” she said, according to The Times. “There are still quite a few people who are parents who will not benefit from it, at least from the start.”

Switzerland lagged behind other countries in the region in terms of women’s rights and gender equality, only granting women the right to vote in 1971. Married women were required to vote. obtain permission from their husbands to work away from home until 1988.


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