You are employed by UNIGE

You are pregnant, your partner is pregnant



There is no legal obligation to announce a pregnancy. However, employers have the obligation to take this fact into consideration and to protect the employee's health from the moment they are informed. The earlier a pregnancy is notified, the better the chances to prevent any potential risk by taking appropriate measures.

Pregnant women who reach the end of their trial period are protected against dismissal during the whole pregnancy, irrespectively of their having notified it or not, and for 16 weeks following the birth. (not. art. 3 al. 1 GEA (LEg), art.336c al.1 CO).

It is important to note that the protection of a pregnant woman is only operational for the contract duration. Fixed-term contracts end on their specified end date, even if the employee is pregnant.

Other restrictions apply to specific situations. Contact the HR division for further details: secretariat-dirh(at) or 022 379 75 56.

Swiss law provides for specific protection of pregnancy and maternity in the workplace (art. 35 to 35b LTr and art. 62 to 65 OLT1).

Employers must ensure that pregnant women and nursing mothers are assigned activities that entail no risk for their and the child's health and adjust their working conditions accordingly (art. 35 al.1 LTr).

Pregnant women and nursing mothers must be able to lie down and rest in appropriate conditions (art. 34 OLT3).




It is recommended to notify a pregnancy to the superior and to send the pregnancy statement to the human resources division (DIRH) at the most  convenient moment according to your personal situation.

Rest areas

Pregnant women and nursing mothers can use the infirmaries of the Uni Mail, Dufour, Bastions, Sciences III, CMU and Battelle buildings. Contact the reception lodges for further details.

Does the work involve risks for pregnancy?

The engineers of the Health at work, environment, prevention and security service (Service santé au travail, environnement, prévention, sécurité - STEPS) are available for confidential interviews. Appropriate measures will be taken as necessary, with the people concerned.




  Service santé au travail, environnement, prévention, sécurité (STEPS), steps(at) or 022 379 78 06

  State personnel health office (SPE), rue de l’Aubépine 6, 1205 Genève, 022 388 11 30



Laws and regulations

  Art. 35 à 35b Loi fédérale sur le travail dans l’industrie, l’artisanat et le commerce (LTr)

  Art. 62 à 65 Ordonnance 1 de la Loi sur le travail (OLT1)

  Art. 34 Ordonnance 3 de la Loi sur le travail (OLT3)

  Ordonnance du Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche (DEFR) sur les activités dangereuses ou pénibles en cas de grossesse et de maternité

  Règlement concernant la protection de la santé et sécurité au travail dans l’administration cantonale (RPST)



For further information

  Details on maternity protection

  Information document on maternity protection by the University commission of security and health in the workplace (CUSSTR)

  Federal act on gender equality

  Check-lists and practical tools for employees and employers

FEDERAL ACT ON GENDER EQUALITY (GEA) - Loi federale sur l'egalite (LEg)

The GEA prohibits discrimination against women, notably on grounds of current, future or past pregnancy, marital status or family situation.

This prohibition is not only valid during employment, but also at the time of hiring and dismissal. It therefore applies to all aspects of the professional relationship: task attribution, setting of working conditions, remuneration, basic and advanced training and promotion.




  Equal opportunities & diversity office - Service égalité & diversité UNIGE, 022 379 12 68

  DIRH,  secretariat-dirh(at) or 022 379 75 56



Laws and regulations

Art. 3 et 4 LEg



For further information

« Commentaire de la loi fédérale sur l’égalité », Gabriel Aubert et Karine Lempen (Ed.), Bureau fédéral de l’égalité entre femmes et hommes, Université de Genève, Slatkine, Genève, 2011.



Absences during pregnancy are considered as sick leave. It is possible to leave one's working station or not show up altogether upon simple notice to the superior (art. 35a al. 2 LTr). Providing a medical certificate is however still compulsory!

The head of the relevant unit is responsible for absence management. Leave notices and certificates must be presented to this person or to the faculty administration, who shall forward them to the DIRH.

It must be noted that sick leave during the first year of employment under a DIP contract may lead to a reduction or even cancellation of the remuneration. Employees remunerated by an institutional source enjoy full remuneration coverage as of the first day of appointment.

A few reminders :

——  a medical certificate must be presented as of the 3rd day of absence;
——  in case of protracted leave, a medical certificate must be presented at least once a month;
——  official holidays are not compensated in case of illness or accident.

Absences during pregnancy are not taken into account in the calculation of the right to maternity leave; the duration of the leave remains the same.

Contrary to the Laws and regulations of other European countries, there is no systematic leave before childbirth; the activity is carried out until childbirth, if the general health state allows it.



For further information

Gestion des absences, in Memento UNIGE





——  Emergency OB/GYN, 022 382 42 36 (24h/24), 30 bd de la Cluse, 1211 Genève 14
——  Ambulances, 144
——  Midwife arcade, 022 329 05 55
——  Childbirth home, La Roseraie, 022 321 51 27
——  Clinique Générale Beaulieu, 022 839 55 55
——  Clinique des Grangettes, 022 305 01 11
——  Hôpital de la Tour, 022 719 61 11
——  SOS Médecins, 022 748 49 50
——  Family planning, 022 372 55 00


Medical costs coverage 

In Switzerland, the Federal act on health insurance (LAMal) guarantees coverage of various services.

During the pregnancy: 7 routine exams and two ultrasounds (one between the 10th and 12th week, the other between the 20th and 23rd week); for high-risk pregnancies, as many exams as necessary;  

if you follow a birthing class with a midwife, 100 CHF are refunded.

During childbirth: all costs are covered, whether at the hospital, at home, or as outpatient.

After childbirth: 1 check-up exam and 3 nursing counseling sessions are covered.

Additional costs, such as giving birth in a private clinic, may be covered if you have contracted it with your insurance company. Be careful however, as private or semi-private coverage for pregnancy generally only enters into force after two years of subscription.



Laws and regulations

——  Federal act on health insurance (LAMal)
——  Art. 13 à 16 Ordonnance du Département fédéral de l’intérieur (DFI) sur les prestations dans l’assurance obligatoire des soins en cas de maladie