Switzerland, a pioneer in paternity leaves

We, as educated adults, must understand, the child is not only the sole responsibility of mothers but the fathers as well. Switzerland, as a country, has fought for many years to grant paternity leave to father but the response from the government was always underwhelming. As mothers got a maternity leave for 14 weeks, fathers were only allowed a day’s leave from their banking jobs when his child was born. Several proposals were made for at least 20 days of leave.

But recently, Switzerland finally moved a step ahead in their right for paternity leave for new dads from their actuarial jobs. As the advocates for paternity leave has been fighting for their 20 leave proposal, a counterproposal of two weeks was accepted. The vote count was 29 votes in favor with 14 against it.

The counter-proposal which was prepared by the Senate’s social security and health committee was accepted against that of the government’s idea. The proposal was such that it would grant flexible leave for 10 days from their actuarial jobs, which could be used together or spread throughout the first six months of the baby’s birth.

Even though many argued that 2 weeks is also not enough for the father to mingle with the child, the counter-proposal went through to have at least something in hand. Only a few countries in the world provide paternity leave and Switzerland is one of them. The public has been in support of paternity leave since the beginning and, likely, it might even increase in the years to come.

Paternity leave is much more than just taking a holiday. The father should be able to get a day off from their actuarial jobs, as their presence during the growing years of his child is necessary. When a baby is born, the biggest challenge is care-giving. Care-giving is typically associated with the job of the mother who gives birth.

A woman apart from balancing work and home, mostly faces a bias at the workplace as a pregnant woman is bound to get paid leave from their customer service jobs, which ultimately is a loss for the company. However, to eliminate this challenge, companies will now have to give parental leave for both men and women.

This proposition of giving mandatory leave from their actuarial jobs will benefit the parents of the child as well as society as a whole. It will help in transforming the perception that care-giving is solely a mother’s job. As fathers will play a role in their child’s growth, they will likely continue doing so even after the child grows up.

Many men would think about passing this opportunity as well, but if they get a mandatory leave from their banking jobs, they will be bound to help mothers with their child’s care-giving. Men won’t have to worry about getting penalized at work just for being a part of their newborn’s growth. This will also help in removing a chunk of a load from the mother’s shoulders. It will ensure an equal role on the part of both mothers and fathers. It will also set as an example for those who will become fathers, and who already are to get more involved in their child’s life.


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