This chapter gives a general description of the allowances paid during maternity leave, with the aim of compensating in part the mother's loss of earnings.
Benefit covered in this chapter:
- Maternity allowance
In what situation can I claim?
If you are a woman who is working and expecting a child, you are entitled, under certain conditions set out below, to an allowance that is in principle equal to 80% of your salary, and that for 14 weeks after childbirth.
Note that you also benefit from healthcare related to your pregnancy and the birth as part of the health care insurance (see the chapter on Sickness insurance).
What conditions do I need to meet?
Maternity allowance (allowance for loss of earnings)
To benefit from maternity allowance, you need to:
- be employed or self-employed on the date of the birth;
- have been insured in the AVS on a compulsory basis (see the chapter on Old-age benefits) for the 9 months preceding the delivery (this period is reduced accordingly if delivery occurs before the end of the ninth month of pregnancy);
- have worked during this period for at least 5 months.
In addition, you must effectively cease working during your maternity leave.
Specific rules apply to women who are unemployed or unable to work during pregnancy and/or the delivery.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?Maternity allowance
80% of average income
CHF 196 (EUR 180) per day maximum
Start of entitlement:
Day of the birth
End of entitlement:
98th day after the birth at the latest (i.e. after 14 weeks).
This entitlement stops before this date if the mother returns to either full or part-time paid employment or if she should die.
Maternity allowance is not paid automatically. After the birth, you need to submit an application to the appropriate AVS compensation fund.
If you are employed, the application needs to be sent to your employer who will forward it on to the compensation fund.
In addition to what is detailed here, the 26 cantons may provide for a higher maternity allowance or for a longer duration, and/or for an adoption allowance.
- AVS: old-age and survivors' insurance. The AVS is the first pillar of the old-age and survivors' scheme in Switzerland.
- Compensation funds: the compensation funds arrange the payment of various social benefits at the cantonal level. The funds are not centralised and reflect Switzerland's federal structure. There are two main types: occupational compensation funds and cantonal compensation funds.
Forms you may need to fill in
Know your rights
The following links provide additional information about your rights. They are not European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the Commission:
European Commission publications:
Who do you need to contact?
Cantonal compensation funds and occupational compensation funds
Find the contact details of the cantonal compensation funds and occupational compensation funds.
Identify and contact the relevant compensation office.
Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO)
Tel. +41 58 462 90 11
Fax +41 58 46278 80