Parents and future parents
Swiss federal law does not provide any obligation or specific deadline within which to inform an employer of pregnancy. Furthermore, special provisions provide for the protection of pregnant women and pregnant persons; it is thus advisable to announce a pregnancy to an employer as soon as possible. This also allows discussion on the desired continuation of working relations upon return to work, for mothers, as well as fathers.
The checklist below and opposite will provide you with information on the actions to take and anticipate at the start of and during pregnancy as well as after birth, with your employer, and also privately. You can also download these checklists opposite in the form of double-sided documents that are easy and practical to use.
Checklist of things to do
Before or at the start of pregnancy
If you are trying to become pregnant, you can already get into contact with the occupational safety and health department manager for information on the risk analysis related to your working environment. The conditions in which you work can be assessed, more specifically from the perspective of protecting pregnant women and pregnant persons (ergonomics, difficulty, occupational hygiene, etc.)
Inform your line manager:
- Clarify the continuation of working relations in view of returning to work, or otherwise. This meeting is also an opportunity to discuss a change to the rate of work, if the future mother or father wishes to work different hours, on a temporary or otherwise basis. Where applicable, this request must be sent by your line manager to the personnel department before the start of maternity leave.
- Discuss the possibiltiy of a flexible work schedule.
- Notify your line manager if protection measures for pregnant women and pregnant persons must soon be applied.
- The distribution and priority of tasks in your job description may be reviewed, reduced, deferred and/or temporarily assigned to a colleague.
- Find out about possible requests for unpaid leave.
- Ask how you will be replaced during your absence.
- For fathers: if you know the due date, plan your paternity leave from now. As a reminder, the right to paternity leave is 14 daily allowances, and may be taken at one time or split up.
- Depending on your personal situation, use this opportunity to find out, ask questions and express your concerns or wishes.
At SNSF as a:
- Doctoral or postdoctoral student, check your eligibility for financial assistance through a "Flexibility Grant".
- Recipient of a "Postdoc.Mobility" or other scholarship, check the option to seek an extension to the scholarship (mentioning maternity leave and possible unpaid leave) or a project extension.
- Young researcher, check your eligibility for the "Subside Égalité" [Equality grant]
You can also find out about other research incentives from the NSF.
- During your pregnancy, find out how your child will be insured after birth.
- You have the free choice of health insurer for your child; children and parents do not necessarily have to have the same insurer.
- So that your child is covered from birth, after comparing offers, take out a pre-natal medical insurance policy.
- Think of including additional insurance, before the birth of the child.
- Do not forget to include accident insurance, as the child is not automatically insured in the case of an accident.
- Find a paediatrician before birth.
- If necessary, find a crèche place, child minder, or any other form of care.
- Plan for domestic support, if necessary.
- After birth, plan nursing / stocks of breast milk.
- Find out about nursing rooms at your workplace, and organise or schedule breastfeeding in view of returning to work.
Equipment and child's needs
- Draw up your own list of equipment and requirements to welcome your child(ren).
- Prepare and optimise your home to increase its safety, as well as for your own comfort and organisation. A child grows up quickly. It is thus best to plan ahead: safety barriers, safety fasteners and catches for the baby, corner and edge protectors, layout of their bedroom, changing table, etc.
- Check your eligibility for health insurance subsidies.
- Check your eligibility for additional cantonal family benefits.
- In general, communes help parents with the cost of the disposal of nappies, either by providing a set number of binbags free of charge or, in the case of a tax by weight, by charging a sum to your binbag card, corresponding to a set number of litres. Ask your commune to find out about these services.
- Find out how family benefits, child benefits at birth and employer benefits work and prepare the documents you will need to provide to the relevant compensation fund, or your employer.
- If you are not married, ask for a declaration of paternity as well as father's custody rights from the civil registry at the place of birth. The biological father can recognise his child without paternal filiation at any time, even before birth. Additional information by canton
- Where applicable, find out about recognition of the father in his country of origin.
- Upon the birth of the child, he or she must be declared at the civil registry in the place of birth within 3 days as of delivery. In general, hospitals or birthing centres are responsible for this formality.
- After birth, you will receive a birth certificate that you will need to give to all official departments and your employer for family benefit applications.
Find the checklist above and download it:
Announce the good news to the personnel or human resources department if your contract is drawn up with an institution like the NSF (if you are at UNIFR, you will receive details of your right to maternity, paternity or adoption leave by email), and ask for family benefits, child benefits after birth or adoption, and employer benefits.
For fathers: take your paternity leave in the 6 months after the birth of the child.
If you need advice, there are organisations that offer support and are ready to listen to your concerns:
The umbrella organisation for rainbow families socially and legally defends the interests of homoparental families in Switzerland. It also has the purpose of creating a contact network between these families and relevant persons and organisations in Switzerland and abroad.
The term "rainbow family" refers to a family in which at least one parent identifies as homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, queer or trans.