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  #21  
Old 30.01.2012, 09:15
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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yes it is. It is against the law here in Switzerland. Thanks for reading it.
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They are however free to fire you once pregnancy and statutory maternity leave (i.e. when you are protected) are over. As was announced to someone I know after she told her employer of four years that she was pregnant, and no, that was not at some small Swiss company in a rural area, but at a big multinational corporation.
Thanks guys. Under which law is it forbidden here and do similar restrictions apply to other classes of discrimination eg age, race etc

Reason for asking is that it seems like a strange system to me that discrimination legislation is stronger than worker rights - shouldn't they be equally strong or else the system is only as good as the weakest link. In other words, what is the point of having a law which prevents you asking a woman if she intends to start a family but then allows her to be fired without good cause when she does?
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  #22  
Old 30.01.2012, 10:05
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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I'm sure you wouldn't if it was a job you actually wanted
I generally don't want to work for unethical employers. Extension of the middle finger and walking out the door is the kindest gesture people like that deserve.
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  #23  
Old 30.01.2012, 10:18
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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I generally don't want to work for unethical employers.
Which one did you find then?
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  #24  
Old 30.01.2012, 10:41
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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... All the money spent for educating (IIRC, bringing someone through a Swiss CS degree costs 100k) these women is basically wasted once they have children...
What on earth are you talking about?

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Seriously WTF?
Indeed.

One lady who started working in the same place as me ten years or so ago, was recently mentioned in a press release having taken some senior job in the pharma industry. It even mentioned that she had three kids. She had had none by the time I last worked with her, seven years ago.
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  #25  
Old 30.01.2012, 11:39
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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Seriously WTF?

People have to work till they are 65... and probably longer once I will reach that age. If your education in the middle of your 20s costs 100k and then enables you to make 120k a year vs the 50k an uneducated person makes for 40 years is that a nice return on investment. Even if a women would take some 5 years or so off before kids go to school... even if she works only part time for some years. But you just showed a nice display of the 50s mindset so common in Switzerland. One of the things I never managed to deal with when living there...
The problem is that it will be very difficult to return to the job once the children are raised.
A lot of Swiss women don't even try.
They just "cancel" their careers.
Because of the way things work here, you either return to your job after 16 weeks - or quit (well, they'll fire you, so you quit "voluntarily").
OK, so she can wait a whole year - but employers are really only interested in 100% employees (well, they expect 115%...) - hiring someone with a one year old child is usually not the first thing HR people have in mind.
That's after all where these "who is taking care of your child(ren) question come from.
Maybe it's all easier in practice or if you are Swiss, I don't know.


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To the OP: Just tell them that you have no intention to have children, end of story. If they behave unethical you can do so as well. It is in fact legal to lie when asked an illegal question! So that can never be officially be hold against you. I have never seen that somebody got fired for having a baby, quite the opposite actually - when my former employer dowsized was "having children" one of the formal factors next to age and "years with company" that decided who to not fire.
Yeah, but "honesty" may also factor in in these decisions.
Employers generally don't really buy into that "tit for tat" thing, if they are on the receiving end....

After looking into this, I believe the Scandinavian countries are doing it "right", by making the maternal/paternal leave part of the social contract - you just have to wonder if it is something that is sustainable in an economy not driven by oil...
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  #26  
Old 30.01.2012, 11:48
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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But what kind of answer can you give
If it's a prerequisite for the job, I might consider it.
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Old 30.01.2012, 11:52
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

As someone who doesn't have kids and has fertility issues which make bio kids unlikely, it pisses me off when I get asked this all the time in interviews as well (althought I didn't for my current job). What is worse is in Switzerland is that it is a damned if you do, damned if you don't question- I'm pretty vocal about how kids are definitely not a short term, and probably not a medium term possibility, and people look at me like I am an alien from planet WTF who hates children because I am married seven years with no kids. So if I want kids I don't get the job, and if I don't want kids, there is something wrong with me.

That said, been in two jobs where two women did completely legal things which hurt the departments I was working in. One, pregnant in notice period and at interview, waited for end of notice, then told boss when she was already six months pregnant, company wound up rehiring the temp the pregnant lady was hired to replace. There was another where someone had a kid right after notice period and then announced second pregnancy within six weeks of returning from maternity leave, so I understand but vehemently disagree with some employers asking it. At the end, women should have kids whenever they want, but still, it hurts team cohesion, hurts managers trying to build a department, creates artificial turnover issues, then the long term temp has drama because she can't get hired due to budget even though she has worked more than the real employee, who comes back after several months and has to get trained by her temp, etc. I just feel like if some companies hadn't been burned by women pushing the law to the extreme, the rest of us women would have an easier go of it. But I don't know what the solution is because, like I said, having children is a right and who am I to say when someone should have kids?
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  #28  
Old 30.01.2012, 11:54
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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What on earth are you talking about?
He's talking about human capital depreciation and the voluntary choice of mothers not to work or to work only part time, reducing society's ROI on their (publically financed) education.
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  #29  
Old 30.01.2012, 12:01
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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Under which law is it forbidden here ...
According to the info below, under Article 328b of the Code of Obligations.
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Bewerbungsgespräche: Vorsicht bei indiskreten Fragen
Auf den ersten Blick ein gewöhnliches Bewerbungsgespräch, dennoch widerspricht es dem Gesetz. In Artikel 328b des Schweizer Obligationenrechts heisst es nämlich, dass "der Arbeitgeber Daten über den Arbeitnehmer nur bearbeiten [darf], soweit sie dessen Eignung für das Arbeitsverhältnis betreffen." Mit anderen Worten, "das heisst, dass der Personalsuchende keine Fragen stellen darf, die das Privatleben des Bewerbers betreffen", fasst Jean-Bernard Waeber, Anwalt für Arbeitsrecht, im PME Magazine zusammen.
According to the lawyer for employment law quoted here, Article 328b means that employers are not permitted to ask job applicants questions about their private life.
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  #30  
Old 30.01.2012, 12:04
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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Thanks guys. Under which law is it forbidden here and do similar restrictions apply to other classes of discrimination eg age, race etc
Art. 336c OR
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Old 30.01.2012, 12:05
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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...bio kids....
Bio kids? Are those in the same isle as the Bio Chickens?



(please take that as a joke btw - in seriousness, I actually understand your situation)
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  #32  
Old 30.01.2012, 12:06
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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He's talking about human capital depreciation and the voluntary choice of mothers not to work or to work only part time, reducing society's ROI on their (publically financed) education.
Ah - 1970's paradigm. Thanks.

So on one hand, you have a society that's set up so it's hard to be a working parent, and on the other, you're damned for wasting that education the state paid so much for. Obviously, the only solution is to stop educating girls beyond age ~14.

If your business or team management or whatever model can't cope with maternity leave, then find a new way of doing things. This is the 21st century. The problem lies with the employer being unable to adapt, not a woman getting pregnant. The former have been around for a few centuries, the later for many thousands of years.
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  #33  
Old 30.01.2012, 12:09
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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Ah - 1970's paradigm. Thanks.
It might be old, but that doesn't make it incorrect. Politically incorrect yes, but not practically incorrect. As a former manager placed in this position, I know it certainly costs the company more (you're essentially paying 2 salaries for the same job, for 6 months). And the productivity is never "repaid" - ie you don't get the additional 6 months of work from the situation.

However, without mothers, there would be no workforce at all, so it's absolutely necessary, and a reason it should be fully accepted by society. If only there was a way of making society foot the bill though, rather than the companies themselves footing the bill.

Take any paradigm from the 90's onwards - especially regarding finance - and see how well those paradigms are working out.
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  #34  
Old 30.01.2012, 12:10
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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Which one did you find then?
...I'm still looking.
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Old 30.01.2012, 12:23
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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...I'm still looking.
So would you agree that the "middle finger" approach works for you because you don't really need a job to survive?
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Old 30.01.2012, 12:51
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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Dear all, I just have to say it: I am tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children. This form of discrimination is getting on my nerves. I come from a South European country, and I have NEVER been asked this question, never!

I love this country, I really feel good living here but when it comes to this, I just have to say NO WAY. Since I came to Swizterland, almost 2 years ago, I have been working in some places part-time. Always international organizations in medium positions (manager). Always asked. But what kind of answer can you give when you feel threatened??? I have gave so many difference. First time I was impressed, second time I turned red, third, I just passed.

Now, I have almost reached the professional level I had before coming. And always the same question! International organizations and women! Women asked this question! Isn't it insane? If you do not want to take the risk do not call women between 30-40 years old and just married!

Should I be afraid of getting pregnant EVER in Swizertland? Of course, not, I know but the behavior makes me wonder.

This is my unique complain about this country, that I love, but the hypocrisy on this issue really upsets me.

thanks for reading my complain. We need to do something.

take care,

FPW (future pregnant worker, no matter what!)
In my last interview they complaint because I did not say anything in my cv that I do have a daughter I didn't know that in a cv I have to write my daughter as a part of my carrier......
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  #37  
Old 30.01.2012, 13:06
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

In Australia, it's not lawful to ask the age of the candidate or their marital status. These two pieces of information are expected to be included on Swiss resumes otherwise you don't even get to first base...now that's discrimination too.
Nor do we attach photos of ourselves when we send in resumes for job applications in Australia...that means you're not dismissed in the shortlisting process just because someone doesn't like the look of your photo.

What I also think is wrong is that Swiss employers actually state an age range in their job ads eg 27-43 - so are you telling me when the 43 year old turns 44 they are shown the door!!! Don't they believe in hiring the best person for the role? That's just downright discriminatory.
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  #38  
Old 30.01.2012, 13:15
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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...However, without mothers, there would be no workforce at all, so it's absolutely necessary, and a reason it should be fully accepted by society. If only there was a way of making society foot the bill though, rather than the companies themselves footing the bill...
It is not "politically correct", it is practically correct.

Last time I looked, companies were part of society. Why shouldn't they foot at least part of the bill, especially larger companies - they're the one's benefitting from the education that society provided.

Businesses need to adapt to the changing workforce. It's totally insane that many businesses expect workers to come into the office to do their work, when much (obviously not all) can be done from anywhere. It's really dumb to insist on core hours for everyone when for some it's really not necessary.
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  #39  
Old 30.01.2012, 13:42
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

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Businesses need to adapt to the changing workforce.
It's all about control. Nothing to do with business, it's psych 101.
Same with illegal questions asked, it's just about power. There is no risk what so ever for an employer to ask those illegal questions. So they are asked.

Power, control, ego - the winning trio anywhere anytime.
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Old 30.01.2012, 14:15
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Re: tired of being asked in jobs interviews if I would like to have children.

Personally I think a parent should stay at home with the children in the early years. For much of that time with my first 2 it was me and not the mother.

I would hate to be a women and have to choose between family and a career. By the same token the career woman who has had 3 kids and risen to the top of her profession in 10 years probably had them all in full time nanny care since they were a few weeks old, in which case why bother having kids?

Also from a small business viewpoint this is a massive issue.
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