There are certain activities that it is better to avoid while pregnant: All kinds of work in which there is a risk that you might fall or hurt yourself, and all activities that overexert you or cause nausea. Otherwise, a healthy pregnant woman can carry out all types of work.
Perhaps you should learn how to leave certain tasks up to others. Pregnancy represents a very good opportunity to pay greater attention to your own needs and to take them more seriously.
In accordance with maternity legislation, you are required to notify your employer of your pregnancy as soon as you are aware of it. The legislation does not stipulate a fixed period of time – in other words, you can decide exactly when it is best to inform your superiors.
The fourth month of pregnancy is often an ideal time to discuss your situation with your employer. The risk of miscarriage is only very slight after the first 12 weeks. In addition, this leaves both employee and employer sufficient time to come to terms with the new situation, and to organise the period leading up to the birth and the future.
Maternity Protection Law
Once an expectant mother has informed her employer of her pregnancy, she is entitled to certain legal protections. The following regulations are stipulated by Swiss employment law and by the Swiss Code of Obligations:
- Protection from dismissal: Once an employee’s probationary period has been completed, it is illegal for her employer to terminate her working contract during pregnancy and in the 16 weeks following childbirth.
- Work prohibition: Female employees must not work in the eight weeks following childbirth. During this period, mothers may not be employed even at their own request. A doctor’s certificate is not required.
- Continuation of wage payments: The length of time during which employers are obliged to continue wage payments (paid maternity leave) is distinct from protection from dismissal and the period in which work is prohibited. The length of time during which employers are obliged to continue wage payments is dependent on the employee’s years of service.
- Daily benefits insurance: The insurance policy must be taken out prior to pregnancy. Daily benefits insurance payments last for 16 weeks, of which at least 8 weeks must be paid following childbirth.
Paid maternity leave
From 1st July 2005, a uniform system of maternity leave has been in place. According to the new legislation, all women in gainful employment are entitled to receive paid maternity leave provided that they made compulsory contributions to the Swiss Retirement and Survivors Pension Scheme (AHV) in the 9 months preceding childbirth and that they were employed for a minimum of 5 months during pregnancy. Following childbirth, female employees are entitled to receive 80 % of their average salary prior to the birth (up to a maximum of CHF 172.- per day) for a period of 14 weeks. Benefits are no longer paid if a mother decides to return to work before the expiry of the 14-week period.