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What is maternity allowance (maternity leave) and who is entitled to it?
What is maternity allowance (maternity leave) and who is entitled to it?

Learn more about who is entitled to maternity allowance, how to apply for it, and what alternative options are available.

Written by Julie Freeman
Updated over a week ago

What is maternity allowance and what does it include?

As a working mother, you are entitled to maternity allowance for the first 14 weeks or 98 days after the birth of your child.

If you start working during these 14 weeks, you will no longer receive maternity allowance.

If your new-born child has to stay in hospital, maternity allowance can be extended under certain circumstances. Please indicate this accordingly on the maternity allowance application form.

When are you entitled to maternity allowance?

  • At the time of birth, you have a valid employment contract, receive unemployment benefit or interim earnings (“Zwischenverdienst”)

  • You had work assignments in Switzerland 9 months before the birth. If you have not worked in Switzerland but in the EU or an EFTA state, this can be taken into account.

  • During these 9 months, you have paid AHV (OASI) contributions for at least 5 months

    • If you have had several employers, it is important to list them all to ensure your claim.

  • If you had a stillbirth, you are entitled to maternity leave if the pregnancy lasted at least 23 weeks.

Application for maternity allowance

  • Please fill in the application form

  • Point 4 "Details of employer" is filled in by Coople

  • You can find the form under the following link:

If you have several employers,

  • please make sure to indicate this in the application form under point 3.1 "You were employed by a business establishment at the time of the child’s birth"

  • and in the supplementary sheet per employer and send it to us (see link below).

If you are self-employed and employed at the same time:

The compensation office with which you pay the contributions for self-employment is responsible here.

You must send the following additional documents (copies):

  • Identity card (identity card, passport)

  • Birth certificate of the child or family record book (parents and children)

    • Only official documents issued by a civil registry office will be accepted. Confirmations from the hospital or the doctor are not sufficient!

If you have a foreign passport as the mother of the child:

  • Residence permit or foreigner's identity card

  • If married, also the residence permit of your spouse

If you apply for an extended maternity allowance, you must enclose the following documents:

  • a medical certificate about the duration of the hospital stay

  • a confirmation from your employer stating that you have returned to work after your maternity leave

And this is how you apply:

  • Attach all requested documents including the application form

  • Save a copy for yourself and

  • Send the application and all required documents to

  • We will complete the document and send it to our compensation office for review

If the decision is positive, you will receive your maternity allowance directly from our GastroSocial compensation fund.

Application deadline

You can submit your application for maternity allowance up to 5 years after the end of the 14-week maternity leave. If you apply after 5 years, you will no longer receive maternity allowance.

You did not have an employment contract at the time of the birth of your child / were unemployed and do not receive unemployment benefit (only applies to the mother)

You have the option of applying with the cantonal compensation office, e.g., SVA, using the following form and having your entitlement to maternity benefits checked.

How much is the maternity allowance?

Compensation is paid as a daily allowance and amounts to 80% of your average income before the birth, up to a maximum of CHF 220 per day.

You can find more information at

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