For all future mothers who have worked and paid Swiss social charges (AVS), for at least five months in the nine months prior to the birth, a maternity allowance is granted. This remains the case if the mother was receiving unemployment benefits from the state in the same period.
According to the Federal law on loss of earnings (LAPG) the allowance is limited to CHF 7’350.- per month or CHF 196.- per day (2016). It is capped at this amount and calculated on the base of the last salary.
The mother is not permitted to go back to work in the eight weeks that follow the birth of the child. The allowance is paid for a maximum of 98 days (14 weeks), and automatically stops if the mother returns to work from weeks 9 to 13.
The Cantons are obliged to respect the legal Federal minima, but remain free to offer better coverage. Geneva, for example, on condition that the future mother works in the Canton, benefits from 16 weeks (112 days) instead of 14 and can receive as much as CHF 329.60 per day or CHF 12’350.- per month (instead of CHF 7’350.-). Geneva has also defined a higher minimal allowance of CHF 62.- per day; the Canton will finance the difference if the mother earns less.
The maternity benefit begins the day the child is born. If the child needs to stay in hospital for more than three weeks after the birth the family can request that the allowance is extended from the date mother and child actually “get home” together (baby leaves the hospital).
For further information speak to your HR or unemployment counselor.