Maternity leave in Switzerland

Maternity leave Switzerland
Motherhood is an emotional and challenging time for new parents. To support mothers in this adventure, Switzerland has set up a specific allowance for this purpose. In this article, we'll explain how maternity loss-of-earnings benefits can help you.

Table of contents

Maternity leave Switzerland

Who is eligible?

You are entitled to maternity or paternity benefit if, at the birth of your child, you are :

  • Employee
  • Independent activity
  • Active in your spouse's, family member's or partner's business and receiving a cash salary
  • Unemployed and already receiving a daily allowance from unemployment insurance
  • Unable to work due to illness, accident or disability

What are the conditions for entitlement to maternity leave?

All women working in Switzerland, whether Swiss citizens or foreigners, are entitled to maternity leave. This applies to employees, the self-employed, the unemployed, farmers and those working in family businesses.

The conditions for receiving maternity benefits are as follows:

  • Be professionally active at the time of the child's birth
  • Be affiliated with the AVS for at least 9 months prior to childbirth
  • Have worked in Switzerland for at least 5 of the 9 months preceding childbirth

Pre-term delivery

If you give birth prematurely, the period of AHV membership required is reduced:

  • 6 months for delivery before the 7th month
  • 7 months before the 8th month
  • 8 months before the 9th month

How long is maternity leave in Switzerland?

In Switzerland, maternity leave lasts 14 weeks98 days from the date of delivery. If the mother returns to work before the end of these 14 weeks, her entitlement to maternity allowance is terminated early.

Women have a ban on resuming activity before running out 8 weeks maternity leave.

From the 9ème week women can decide to return to work, but lose their entitlement to benefits.

Maternity leave allowance in Geneva

If you worked in Geneva for at least 5 months before giving birth, you may also be eligible for a Geneva cantonal allowance. The canton of Geneva offers 2 more weeks 16 weeks instead of 14.

What is the amount of compensation during maternity leave?

Maternity benefits in Switzerland are paid in the form of a daily allowance. It is equivalent to 80 % of the mother's average pre-delivery income. However, this benefit is capped at CHF 220 per day at federal level.

By way of example, maximum compensation is reached for an employee with a gross monthly income of 8,250 CHF and for a self-employed person with an annual income of CHF 99,000.

In addition, depending on your income, you may be eligible for a supplementary allowance from the canton of Geneva, enabling you to receive a daily amount of at least 69 à CHF 329.60 maximum.

How do I claim maternity allowance?


Your employer takes care of everything. They are responsible for submitting your application for maternity allowance to their compensation fund. They will provide details such as the length of your employment, your salary, and the amount they will pay you during your leave.

Self-employed, unemployed or unable to work?

You must submit your claim for maternity allowance to the compensation fund that last received your contributions.

Form to be completed : Maternity benefit claim

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Frequently Asked Questions

This is a period of 14 weeks (98 days) granted to women after childbirth, during which they can receive an allowance to compensate for loss of income due to time off work.

In Geneva, expectant mothers are entitled to an extra 2 weeks.

Any woman working in Switzerland, whether employed, self-employed, a farmer or working in a family business, can claim maternity benefit if she meets certain conditions.

Compensation is equivalent to 80% of average pre-delivery income, capped at 220 francs per day.

It is your employer's responsibility to submit your application to his or her own compensation fund.

Federal maternity allowances are subject to social security contributions when paid directly to the beneficiary. However, cantonal allowances paid by the canton of Geneva are not subject to contributions.