March 04, 2021

As of 1 Jan 2021, employees in Switzerland can take paid leave if they care for family members or life partners who have a health impairment — under changes to the Swiss Code of Obligations. A further leave entitlement for parents of a sick child is slated to take effect on 1 Jul 2021.  

Leave to care for relatives

  • Family members defined in the code include family members in ascending and descending order as well as spouses, parents-in-law and life partners who have lived in the same household as the employee for five years or more. Health impairments include illness, accidents and disability, and the ill or injured person must require care.
  • Employers must pay the employee’s wages for up to three days of leave per event, capped at 10 days per year, but no cap applies to the care of a sick child. Paid care leave can be granted only once for a particular impairment, regardless of other occurrences that require care (for example, during a long-term illness). 
  • Employees must be able to prove the need for care, but the law does not require the provision of a medical certificate.

Leave to care for sick child 

From 1 Jul 2021, parents will be entitled to 14 weeks of leave calculated over an 18-month period to care for a seriously ill or injured child. The leave is paid as a daily allowance and payment is capped at CHF 196 per day. 

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