20 days of paternity leave: necessary, timely, affordable!
The birth of a child is a big step. To ensure everything goes well, it is important that fathers are involved in the process. All fathers should be able to be involved--not only those who can afford to take unpaid time off from their jobs.
Present-day fathers want to take responsibility right from the start. To reconcile job and family life requires flexible time arrangements.
The cost of paternity leave for employees is about the same as buying a cup of coffee each month. Paternity leave is a big step for fathers, and just a small step for the social insurance system.
On April 27, the National Council rejected a proposal for two weeks of paternity leave. The Commission's spokesperson summed up the (misguided) opinion of the center-right majority: paternity leave is not a matter of achieving gender-equal family relations, but is merely "an expensive gesure that we cannot afford". What a crying shame, since asking for 10 days is as modest as it can get...
Now the people get to decide whether the constitutional mandate to implement real gender equality in all areas of leave should be taken as a joke. Our demand: 20 days of paternity leave, compensated exactly the same as maternity leave. 20 days is not enough? You're right about that. But asking for 20 days can get us the needed majority at the polls. Aside from Ireland and Albania, Switzerland is the only European contry with no regulations in place for paternity leave. Time to change this sad fact!