Maternity compensation
Maternity compensation

Maternity compensation

Maternity compensation

Even with “only” short time jobs you can benefit

The subject of maternity compensation is complicated for female musicians. Usually, the activity consists of permanent employment (e.g. music school), temporary employment (e.g. short time jobs) and freelance work (e.g. own chamber music ensemble).

In order to find out how a musician can get the maternity allowance she is entitled to, the SVA Zurich provided us with information on specific questions. Important; our questions are based on the assumption that the musician is resident in the Canton of Zurich, has Swiss citizenship or a C-card and is registered with the SVA as a self-employed person.

1. A female musician plays regularly with an orchestra (temporary employment). To apply for maternity compensation, the musician now sends the application or the supplementary sheet to the named orchestra. However, the orchestra refuses to complete it. What can the musician do?

In principle, the mother can submit the application for maternity compensation to the SVA Zurich herself; this does not necessarily have to be done via the employer. Certain information from the employer is required in the application. The supplementary sheet is only necessary if the musician has several employers. If the application or the supplementary sheet has not yet been completed by the employer, the Compensation Office will write directly to the employer and ask him/her to complete the relevant information.

2. Does it make a difference for the calculation of maternity compensation whether a musician is self-employed for her main job or as a part-time job?

No. The basis for calculating maternity compensation is the total income earned during the 12 months preceding the birth.

3. A musician was briefly taken ill several times in the 12 months before her birth and therefore earned less money in self-employment. Unfortunately, she also has no daily sickness benefit insurance. How is this loss of income dealt with when calculating maternity compensation?

The calculation of maternity compensation is always based on the income of the last 12 months before the birth. Loss of income due to illness may not result in a reduction in the calculation of maternity compensation. The calculation does not take into account a hypothetical income, but the days on which the employee could not earn any income or only a reduced income due to illness or accident are not taken into account (Rz 5008 Guidelines to the Income Compensation Regulation for Service Providers and Maternity (WEO)).

 4. Eight weeks BEFORE the birth a ban on work from 20:00 o’clock applies. However, concerts often end clearly after 20:00 o’clock. Does a musician have to refuse the requests now therefore (as self-employed and / or as temporary employee) or may she work voluntarily anyway?

Yes, from 8 weeks before the birth a pregnant woman is not allowed to work after 8 pm. She must therefore refuse all work after 8 p.m..*

5. If she had to refuse all requests after 8 p.m.; what would be the consequences if the musician worked anyway ( self-employed and/or temporarily)?

With regard to social security entitlements, working after 8 pm has no consequences. However, the musician violates labor law regulations and the employer must expect at most consequences (sanctions) in this context in the event of a possible inspection.*

6. The musician now refuses these requests after 8 pm and therefore has a significant loss of pay. How is this taken into account when calculating maternity compensation?

If the musician can provide evidence of the requests, she may still include this lost income in the calculation of the maternity allowance.*

*Note by subito mf: According to  Art. 35a Employment during maternity gilt a ban on working after 8 p.m. applies from eight weeks before the birth.

In the Labor Code ArG Articles 2 and 3, explicit exceptions to this rule are provided for. Exceptions are, among others, public institutions (these can be music schools, depending on the integration and structure of the organization), work in the service of churches, independent artistic activities as well as teachers at private schools (list not exhaustive). We therefore recommend that the individual case be examined in detail.

During 8 weeks AFTER the birth an absolute ban on working applies. For these 8 weeks, the musician will receive maternity compensation based on her income from permanent and temporary employment and on her self-employment. The SVA pays maternity compensation for a maximum of 14 weeks.

7. Is the musician now allowed to work again from the 8th week after birth?


8. Does she have to report this to the SVA?

Yes, it is a duty.

9. From the moment she resumes work, she no longer receives maternity compensation?


10. Breastfeeding: Is the paid breastfeeding period paid by the SVA or is the employer responsible for it?

The employer is responsible for this.