Maternity and parental rights

Pregnant or women breastfeeding may work only if they consent to. In other words, they are entitled to leave work or stay home based on a simple notification. However, in such circumstances, the employer does not have to pay the contractual salary, unless otherwise agreed.

According to the law, the employer must occupy pregnant women in a manner that preserves their own health and those of their children. For instance, the employer must adjust conditions of work to avoid them undertaking dangerous activities or occupations that require strenuous physical exertion. In some cases, the employer must even offer alternate activities to those – dangerous or requiring strenuous physical exertion – contractually agreed and, in case of failure to do so, pay them 80% of their gross salary.

In Geneva, after having given birth, women are entitled to a 16 week maternity leave, a period of time during which they receive at least 80% of their income. In all other cantons, the maternity leave is only of 14 weeks after the child’s birth.

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This website aims to provide general information regarding Swiss law and should not be regarded as a legal opinion. For more specific advice, do not hesitate to contact us.