ZURICH — Swiss voters on Sunday agreed to undertake a law mandating paternity leave, making it the final nation in Western Europe to take action and beating again sturdy conservative opposition to the proposal.
Fathers within the nation had been allowed sooner or later off for the delivery of a kid — the identical time given for shifting houses — however the brand new ruling will improve that to 10 days of paid depart.
And voters additionally individually rejected a referendum that will have blocked freedom of motion of European Union residents into the nation, a problem pushed by a right-wing get together.
The paternity depart legislation was authorised by Parliament final yr, however a bunch of conservative politicians collected greater than 50,000 signatures on a petition opposing the measure. Within the Swiss system of direct democracy, that compelled the problem to be put to a referendum earlier than it might come into impact.
Regardless of being one of the world’s wealthiest nations when it comes to per capita revenue, Switzerland has typically lagged behind on questions of gender equality. Girls within the nation gained the precise to vote solely in 1971, and wives required permission from their husbands to work outdoors the house till 1988.
For supporters of the measure, the result’s seen as a step towards correcting inequalities between the sexes.
“This can be a clear signal for a sophisticated household coverage,” stated Min Li Marti, a lawmaker in Switzerland’s nationwide council. Nevertheless, Ms. Marti stated there was nonetheless room for enchancment. “There’s nonetheless so much to be accomplished with reference to uniting household and profession,” she stated.
Three-fifths of voters backed the paternity depart measure, with the strongest assist coming from the French- and Italian-speaking areas.
Underneath the legislation, which is predicted to use starting Jan. 1, organic fathers will be capable to take the ten days of depart inside six months of the delivery of a kid. They are going to be entitled to obtain 80 % of their wage at a every day cap of 196 Swiss francs, or about $210, although firms can select to increase the length of the depart or improve the proportion of wage paid out.
The Federal Social Insurance coverage Workplace of Switzerland has estimated that the brand new coverage will price 230 million francs per yr. The employees’ lack of earnings will probably be coated by the identical social insurance coverage used to compensate different absences, like maternity depart and obligatory army service. Will probably be paid for in equal elements by employers and workers.
The measure is modest in contrast with different European international locations. The European Union, of which Switzerland shouldn’t be a component, handed a directive final yr requiring member states to increase their parental depart to 4 months, two of which can’t be transferred from one mother or father to a different. Nations have till 2022 to undertake the directive as legislation.
Patricia Purtschert, a gender research professor on the College of Bern, stated it was additionally essential to notice what the Swiss legislation disregarded. “It doesn’t apply to adoptive or same-sex dad and mom,” she stated. “There are nonetheless fairly a number of people who find themselves parenting that gained’t revenue, from the beginning not less than.”
In one other essential vote on Sunday that might have had main repercussions for Switzerland’s financial and buying and selling relationship with the European Union, Swiss voters rejected a referendum that will have blocked freedom of motion of European Union residents into the nation.
This referendum query, pushed by the right-wing Swiss Folks’s Occasion in an effort to curb immigration, would have scrapped a pact with the European Union that will have additionally torpedoed different bilateral pacts on land and air transport, procurement, technical boundaries to commerce, and analysis.