Swiss executive asks voters to reject paid paternity leave

Markets Associated Press

Switzerland's executive body is advising voters to reject a ballot initiative that would grant new fathers at least 20 days of paid paternity leave.

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The seven-member Federal Council argues says Switzerland should instead improve options for childcare and let business and labor leaders iron out the issue.

The council argues that the cost of extended paternity leave would "imperil economic competitiveness." A government statement Wednesday estimated the 20-day proposal would cost about 420 million Swiss francs ($427 million) per year.

The initiative's proponents say the one day of paid paternity leave the country now requires is badly out-of-step with other western European countries.

Petitioners collected enough signatures to put the initiative before voters. Balloting on a date that will be set by Parliament is not expected for several months.