On Wednesday 5 February, Switzerland’s Federal Chancellery announced that a petition calling for a referendum on a new two-week paternity leave entitlement has collected enough signatures for a vote to be held. The referendum, which is set to take place in Autumn, was called for by the Swiss People’s Party, as well as members of the Liberal and Christian Democrat parties, who are against the leave entitlement coming into force. The law granting fathers two weeks of leave, funded by ‘loss of earnings’ compensation allocations, was adopted by the Swiss parliament in September (see article n°11348). It came as a response on the part of public authorities to an initiative calling for a referendum on a four-week paternity leave entitlement, promoted by the trade union confederation Travail.Suisse, amongst others. Those supporting this initiative agreed to withdraw their demand of a referendum in October, to allow the leave entitlement proposed by the government to come into force as quickly as possible. These same organisations have therefore formed a ‘Yes’ committee to support the introduction of the leave entitlement, which in any case can only come into effect after the vote. Those opposed to its introduction believe its funding will involve an increase in contributions.
Switzerland: popular vote to be held on proposed paternity leave framework
Planet Labor, 10 February 2020, n°11644 - www.planetlabor.com