Implementation of paid leave for a family caregiver


The new Federal law on improving reconciliation between professional activities and assuming the care of family members comes into force in two stages in 2021. The first, valid as of 1 January, provides for paid leave in the case of a short leave of absence from a professional activity to take care of a family member. The second, which will be applicable as of 1 July, provides for a paid leave of absence for an employee whose child is seriously ill or has been the victim of an accident. Explanations.

Short-term paid leave to assume the care of a family member

As of 1 January, employees are entitled to a paid leave of absence to assume the care of a member of their family or their partner who is ill or has been the victim of an accident. This covers the parents, children, brothers and sisters, parents-in-law and the spouse or partner with whom the employee has shared a household for at least five years.

The conditions for paid leave:

  • Maximum duration: 3 days with a limit of 10 days per year
  • Leave granted on presentation of a medical certificate
  • Paid leave costs assumed by the employer for 100% of the salary
The right to AVS care credits is extended to enable more people with handicaps to live independently in their own homes. With the new law, family caregivers will be able to receive these credits even if the person requiring care has the right to benefits for a minor disability. Furthermore, if a child is hospitalised for more than one month, a supplement for intensive care and the AI allowance for disability continue to be paid, on condition that the parents’ presence at the hospital remains necessary.

Paid leave to assume the care of a child

As of 1 July, an employee who must leave their gainful employment to take care of a child who is seriously ill or who has been the victim of an accident may be entitled to a paid leave of absence.

Paid leave conditions:

  • Length: 14 weeks, taken in one or several segments, over a period of a maximum of 18 months
  • Leave granted on presentation of a medical certificate
  • Loss of earnings indemnities (APG) in the form of daily indemnities amounting to 80% of the salary but a maximum of CHF 196 per day. If the employee’s salary exceeds CHF 88,200, the employer may provide a supplement for the missing amount. Implementation is currently being elaborated by the compensation funds. We will inform our clients as soon as the compensation funds have completed this task.

A legislative evolution adapted to the demographic evolution

With an aging population, the assistance and care provided by relatives to their family members will become ever more important in the future. However, it is difficult to reconcile caregiving with a professional activity. Prior to the adoption of this law, approximately two thirds of companies granted partially remunerated short leave to provide care for a relative. As regards children suffering from a long illness, parents often had no choice other than to request unpaid leave or to stop working for a period of time. Every year some 4,500 families were confronted with this dilemma. These new legislative provisions are therefore a step in the right direction.
Sources :
Fédération des Entreprises Romandes –
Federal Social Insurance Office –
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