A total of 14.1 percent of fathers with children aged under four worked part time in Switzerland last year, according to the Swiss Labour Force Survey 2018.
While the figure may appear modest, it is a rise of 5.3 percentage points on 2010 figures, the report shows.
Meanwhile, just over one in ten (10.1 percent) of fathers with children aged 4 to 12 worked part time in 2018 – up three percentage points on 2010. The ratio of fathers of children aged 13 to 17 working part time also rose three percentage points in the same period – to 9.7 percent.
At the same time, an increasing number of mothers of young children are going back to work. Just over three in four women (75.7 percent) with children aged under four were active in the Swiss labour force last year. That’s compared to 67.4 percent in 2010.
For mothers of children aged 4 to 12, the labour force participation rate last year was 83.2 percent, while it was 85.5 percent for mothers of children aged 13–17.
However, the vast majority of these mothers worked on a part-time basis (or less than 90 percent of full-time hours).
The Swiss Labour Force Survey 2018 also shows mothers changed jobs almost twice as often as fathers did for a better balance of work and family life. Around one in three women (32.7 percent) had changed jobs for this reason, while 17.7 percent of men had done so.
In addition, almost a third of women (62.2 percent) with children aged under 15 said they were working less because of childminding responsibilities. For men, this figure was a far lower 14.9 percent.
Low rates of satisfaction with work–life balance
In terms of problems with work–life balance, the greatest challenge cited by parents of children aged under 15 was long working hours (18.6 percent of parents said this was a problem).
Some 16.3 percent of parents said unfavourable or unpredictable working hours were the biggest problem while just five percent of parents cited a lack of support in the workplace as the chief obstacle when it came to work-life balance.
But only 34.1 percent of parents said they were happy with the balance between family life and their work situation.
Swiss among European leaders for part-time work
The latest labour force survey also shows Switzerland is among the European leaders for part-time work.
Over one in three workers (35 percent) in Switzerland are employed on a part-time basis against an EU average of 19.4 percent. Only the Netherlands has a higher rate in the EU (49.8 percent).
The survey shows a huge 84.2 percent of Swiss people aged from 15 to 64 participated in the labour market last year – up 2.9 percentage points from 2010. The EU average is 73.3 percent.