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Old 07.03.2011, 08:48
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Minimum work time before maternity leave?

Hi everyone,

I don't know whether to post this under "employment" or "family", so here goes. I'll ask the question and then add some background info, since I don't know what information is important in this case. I couldn't find the answer easily, and I'm not sure even where to look.

Question: how long does a foreigner need to be employed in a job before the standard maternity-leave benefits become valid? And if there's a certain min. time, does it include the 3-month test period?

Background: let's say I'm a foreigner from the new-EU with a B-permit that's valid for *any* job until 2015, in case that's important. I have been working at a company for almost a year already, but I want to find a new job because my current employer is driving me nuts.

The hitch: I'm also planning a baby next year, and I'm wondering what happens if I start a new job while, say, barely/almost pregnant. For example: after 6 months at a new job it becomes clear that I'm going to have a baby in 2-3 months. Would this mean I won't get maternity benefits or be able to come back to the job again after the leave?

I hope you see what I'm getting at...I'm looking for a new job but also planning a baby soon, and I want to know if I'm painting myself into a corner, basically. If I can only get benefits after a certain amount of time, then it might make sense to stay where I am now and suffer longer. If not, then I'd want to find a better employer as soon as I can, irrespective of my baby plans.

Thanks for your help (or for pointing me in the right direction)!
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Old 07.03.2011, 09:07
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

Whatever the legal answer is, it's pretty unfair to the new enmployer.

I think you'll be entitled to maternity benefit, certianly after 6 months in the job but whether your employer would want you back maybe different and it's not so dificult to sack people here. With a baby i think it would be very didfficult to get anew job, not impossible, but certainly not easy and they're plenty of candidates out their looking for jobs.
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Old 07.03.2011, 09:08
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

So you want to screw an employer and the welfare system,
And women wonder why its hard to get decent jobs, well done.
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Old 07.03.2011, 09:09
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

I don't know legally other than if they ask you at in interview if you are trying for a baby you don't have to answer it but if you do answer it then you must answer truthfully. However, I would find it morally wrong to persuade an employer to give me a job knowing full well I have no plan to stay in it.

I would think if you are paying into the system here in Switzerland then it doesn't matter if you change jobs because the money comes from the state I believe and not the employer. Somebody else may clarify this.
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Old 07.03.2011, 09:30
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

Hey come on guys, admittedly Switzerland was shamelessy late on suffrage for women, but I wouldn't have expected this kind of immediate backlash on this forum.
I understand the fact that it seems unfair from the employer's point of view at first glance, but that's one-sided thinking. It goes without saying that *if* I were starting a better job and had to go on leave for 4 months, of course I'd want to come back afterwards so why rag on me for being unfair to employer and state?? It's simply a question of when I go on leave. Why should it be extremly unfair to the employer/state after, say, 10 months - but perfectly fair after, say, 2 years?
Either way I'm "cheating" the system by (gasp!) taking time off to take care of my baby, and either way he's got a great employee in the long run, irrespective of when she was gone on her shameful 4 month leave.

Isn't that the point of maternity leave to begin with? To at least *minimally* protect the rights of women to also have control over their careers, while both woman AND men have babies? It sounds like some people on this forum may have forgotten we got rid of slavery more than a few decades ago too.

For those who are quick to scorn me: don't forget that women aren't alone in making babies, and yet the guys don't have to worry about potential problems with their employers. Is it REALLY so selfish for me to want to be happy at my job AND be able to plan a baby - *with* my boyfriend/husband! - without worrying too much about whether it's the right time or not for the "state"?

Questions of leeching/fairness aside, I'd still like to know what the rules are...

Thanks again, runway
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Old 07.03.2011, 09:39
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

We hired a new girl last year and when she showed up for her first day she was obviously pregnant (four months, to be precise). No one batted an eye*, she worked her five months, is now off on her mat leave (with full benefits and HR even took care of finding a replacement for her) and she'll be back soon. No big deal. In fact, we're all chuffed to bits. She's a great person and she'll be a great mother. And she's a great employee. End of story.

*Admittedly, there were a few raised eyebrows, but I never heard one word of complaint from anybody, including my boss.
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Old 07.03.2011, 09:51
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

Usage/rules for employer and employee is that pregnancy must be announced at 3months so that it leaves enough time for employer to seek for a replacement or alternative solution. The maternity leave conditions are clearly defined in the contract if there is a "waiting period". Don't forget that usually you'll have 3 months trial before finalizing your contract.
Conclusion:
- read your contract carefully
- don't make interview while pregnant because of the 3 months to be on the safe side.
- all the rest is private issue.

Last edited by MrVertigo; 07.03.2011 at 10:07.
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Old 07.03.2011, 10:17
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

I'm not saying you are being unfair to the state, just the employer. I know many women who planned to go back to work after 4 months and never did. I also know men who have time off work to look after baby whilst mum goes back to work.

My current employer is seriously pissed off with me because I now work from home 2 days a week so I can take the little one to kindergarten so her mum can go back to having her career. Also at the doctors last week there were more dads with sick kids than mums (at 10 in the morning) so don't give me this bullshit.

If you were an employer and you spent time and money training somebody up, integrating them into the workplace and then a few months later they left never to come back - knowing that was the plan the whole time, you would be pissed off too.

Similarly if I was offered a full time job when the boss already knew he was running out of money and going bankrupt then I would be pissed off.

Just play fair is all I say.
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Old 07.03.2011, 10:25
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

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We hired a new girl last year and when she showed up for her first day she was obviously pregnant (four months, to be precise). No one batted an eye*, she worked her five months, is now off on her mat leave (with full benefits and HR even took care of finding a replacement for her) and she'll be back soon. No big deal. In fact, we're all chuffed to bits. She's a great person and she'll be a great mother. And she's a great employee. End of story.

*Admittedly, there were a few raised eyebrows, but I never heard one word of complaint from anybody, including my boss.
If your company employed her knowing she was pregnant then fair enough. To deceive a company and apply and take a job knowingly pregnant is a bit underhand
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Old 07.03.2011, 10:25
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

This Thread sure separates the guys from the gals.

I'm pretty sure that you don't have to inform an employer that you are 'trying for a baby'. Many people try for years and if a lass is unhappy in her job, I see no reason why she shouldn't check up on the laws and rulings to make sure she doesn't loose out completely if she is lucky enough to become pregnant quickly. She's not trying to win, as much as trying to avoid losing too much.

I appreciate that it seems rough on the employer but the poster is simply asking for information. No-one asks a guy if he is planning a family and that they are perhaps hiring a guy who maybe in ten months time comes to work short of sleep or in seven years time definitely wants his holidays during school-holidays!
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Old 07.03.2011, 10:39
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

I love groaners who don't actually say why they are groaning LOL have some guts (was going to say balls lol) and state your case.

Do you really think an employer who has been burnt once would be as willing to employ a woman again??

Sorry there is no difference here to the posters who come on asking how long they have to work before they can claim rav and go swanning off on a free extended holiday.
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Old 07.03.2011, 10:44
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

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I love groaners who don't actually say why they are groaning LOL have some guts (was going to say balls lol) and state your case.

Do you really think an employer who has been burnt once would be as willing to employ a woman again??

Sorry there is no difference here to the posters who come on asking how long they have to work before they can claim rav and go swanning off on a free extended holiday.
I (a male) recruited and employ people from both genders. Men are also not 100% fair & clean. Had also cases of a guy who knew he was going under surgery and will be away for 4-6 months. So should I stop hiring men?
I observe only that we tend to be more forgiving to men than to women in professional environments.
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Old 07.03.2011, 11:15
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

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Usage/rules for employer and employee is that pregnancy must be announced at 3months so that it leaves enough time for employer to seek for a replacement or alternative solution. The maternity leave conditions are clearly defined in the contract if there is a "waiting period". Don't forget that usually you'll have 3 months trial before finalizing your contract.
Conclusion:
- read your contract carefully
- don't make interview while pregnant because of the 3 months to be on the safe side.
- all the rest is private issue.

there is no law about when you have to tell your employer - 3 months or otherwise. It is generally accepted you won't tell your employer (and for many, anyone else) until you are through the first trimester. Every situation is different - if you are a newer employee, if you start the job not pregnant, it is sometimes a good thing to wait until after your probation period is done as you can have a chance to prove that you are a good employee (especially since you are probably feeling the worst during that time and if you can still show good, then even more kudos). It's usually best not to wait too long after that though as you don't want them to find out some other way such as you starting to show, and always good to tell your boss with a plan in place of when you plan to be off (start and end date), if you will need to use any vacation plans, and outline the projects that will be affected - and provide potential solutions if you have any.

Do read the contract carefully, and if you are planning on getting pregnant sooner than later, pay close attention during the hiring process to that part of the contract.

The only mandate that I have found regarding when you can get benefits is that you have to be insured by AHV for 9 months and you have to work for 5 months during the time you are pregnant.
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Old 07.03.2011, 12:22
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

Wow, I can't believe the presumption some of you guys are expressing without even knowing me or my exact plans. It's astounding.
Thank you to those who aren't reacting to my request as if I'm some kind of criminal!

I'm an honest person, and it goes without saying for me that I'm not purposely going to plan on cheating the employer by working for a few months, getting benefits, and then taking off! Where do you guys get off figuring me for such a con artist?

Comparing my case with someone who *knowingly* jumps into a situation expecting to essentially rip off the employer is unfair to say the least.

And claiming to have seen more men in doctor's offices with their kids - what kind of an argument is that? The law here states that women get 4 months and men get a few days paid leave (as far as I understood the law) so if there are men who are lucky enough to have understanding employers (who will let them work part-time for example), why is that a bad thing? I think men should have just as much time off as women, legally speaking. Sheesh, in Sweden they strongly encourage men to take a lot of time off too - paid of course. This should be a choice a couple makes, not something the state decides by setting up a playing field strongly tilted in favor of the women-at-home model. I believe both women AND men should get paid maternity leave, or at least that some kind of time-sharing system exist, so both have equal say in the matter. BUT: we're living here in Switzerland, which is why I'm asking about the rules here. Please no "then go to Sweden if you don't like it here" comments.

Seriously, some of us might need to be reminded of the simple fact that woman AND men have babies, not just women. It just "so happens" that only one sex can actually carry the baby to term and feed it for the first year, but that shouldn't mean that the woman's career should be more at risk than the man's - isn't this obvious? Sure, nature makes it difficult to achieve perfect equality, and employers do have to make ends meet, and I understand all that.

So I'll say it again: I'm not planning on cheating anybody, and EVEN if I got pregnant soon after getting a new job, why wouldn't I come back to the job after my leave? After all, I'm working in the first place either because I need to or want to. As one nice poster said earlier: they hired a pregant woman, and she was a great employee, period - before as well as after the maternity leave. That's how I see myself too.

All I was asking was whether there's a rule that says something like "a woman needs to be working for at least 1 year (not incl. the 3 month trial period) before she can go on paid maternity leave". Or perhaps "a foreign woman with work permission has to have worked at ANY employer for at least a year", or whatever. That's all I'm asking. I'm still not sure I got the answer, but thanks for the info anyway!
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Old 07.03.2011, 12:29
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

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And claiming to have seen more men in doctor's offices with their kids - what kind of an argument is that?
Just responding to your assertion that men get women pregnant and then absolve themselves of all responsibility. There is no doubt that the dice is loaded against women in the workplace, but having children does affect men too.
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Old 07.03.2011, 12:45
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

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This Thread sure separates the guys from the gals.

I'm pretty sure that you don't have to inform an employer that you are 'trying for a baby'. Many people try for years and if a lass is unhappy in her job, I see no reason why she shouldn't check up on the laws and rulings to make sure she doesn't loose out completely if she is lucky enough to become pregnant quickly. She's not trying to win, as much as trying to avoid losing too much.

I appreciate that it seems rough on the employer but the poster is simply asking for information. No-one asks a guy if he is planning a family and that they are perhaps hiring a guy who maybe in ten months time comes to work short of sleep or in seven years time definitely wants his holidays during school-holidays!
Kudos, Longbyt in your efforts to keep this thread on topic! It has definitely strayed far from the OP's original question. Hopefully she will get some helpful facts, rather than heated opinions, soon!
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Old 07.03.2011, 12:52
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

The attached link has all the legal stuff regarding maternity leave. If anything is still not clear you can contact them directly for more advice. http://www.travailsuisse.ch/de/syste...foM_e_webA.pdf
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Old 07.03.2011, 13:18
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

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The attached link has all the legal stuff regarding maternity leave. If anything is still not clear you can contact them directly for more advice. http://www.travailsuisse.ch/de/syste...foM_e_webA.pdf
Thank you very much!
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Old 07.03.2011, 13:51
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

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Sheesh, in Sweden they strongly encourage men to take a lot of time off too - paid of course. This should be a choice a couple makes, not something the state decides by setting up a playing field strongly tilted in favor of the women-at-home model. I believe both women AND men should get paid maternity leave, or at least that some kind of time-sharing system exist, so both have equal say in the matter.
Seriously,
I find your comments very valid, but in order for both parents to have a certain amount of time off, somebody needs to pay for it, and i find the Swedish model to be slighty overdone, both in the amount of time off and the amount of tax they have to pay.

A friend of mine was sacked, very justifiably according to her, however shew was 2 or 3 weeks pregnant at the time. The employeur had to pay her salary for 9 months, follwoed by 4 months maternity leave, followed by 3 months notice period. Extreme case i agree, but it cost the employeur 16 months of salary ! For a small company this can be deadly.

Is that fair ?
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Old 07.03.2011, 14:00
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Re: Minimum work time before maternity leave?

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A friend of mine was sacked, very justifiably according to her, however shew was 2 or 3 weeks pregnant at the time. The employeur had to pay her salary for 9 months, follwoed by 4 months maternity leave, followed by 3 months notice period. Extreme case i agree, but it cost the employeur 16 months of salary ! For a small company this can be deadly.

Is that fair ?
Without knowing more about the circumstances (how long was she working there for example? was her being sacked truly earned?), off the bat of course the answer is "no". But as you hinted at yourself, I'm pretty sure this sort of case comes up far less often than equally unfair examples in the other direction.
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