Tegonal is a team of software developers in Bern and was founded in 2004. When Tegonal was founded, most of us were still far from thinking about being a father. This changed a few years later. After the first of us had announced his paternity, the discussion about a longer paternity leave came up.
For us it was clear: the legal regulation of one day off was far from what we wanted and did not correspond to our idea of a modern and responsible employer. Fathers should be able to take full care of their family after birth. Since then, our employees benefit from a two-week paternity leave. In recent years, our employees have made active use of this.
A common argument against paternity leave are the high costs. But from our experience, this argument falls short. The positive effects on the well-being and motivation of our employees far exceed the additional costs. This is reflected in particular in the long-term commitment and high level of involvement of our employees. The paid parental leave of two weeks is often supplemented by additional weeks of holiday. On average, our employees took a 4-week paternity leave.
Tegonal supports the 100pro.ch campaign to introduce a 4-week paternity leave financed by the EO. We are not alone with this demand. On the platform 100-pro.ch you will find further companies that support a longer paternity leave.
However, the initiative to introduce a 4-week paternity leave is only one step towards a better reconciliation of family and career. The discussion must continue and a much more flexible and extended period of parental leave must be discussed.
Another important measure is the expansion of part-time work, especially for fathers. For Tegonal, part-time work is part of the corporate culture since 2004. In consultation with the team, our employees can independently determine their level of employment and also decide on longer, unpaid absences.
For seven years and after the birth of our first child, we have shared education and professional activity equally. This equality brings many advantages such as: a better work-life balance, a better basis for discussion in questions of parental authority, mutual understanding for the situation of the partner and an equally close relationship with our children. Extended paternity leave is the basis for establishing such a relationship. (Mike Toggweiler, Tegonal GmbH, Partner)
Due to paternity leave it was possible for me to not only support my child in the first weeks but also to help my wife which needed to recover from the birth as such. Taking part in the first few weeks — the first bath, a first gurgle, the first full diaper 😉 — is definitely not something I would have wanted to miss. Without paternity leave, I would have taken holidays which I then could not have used to support my wife during her re-entry into working life. (Robert Stoll, Tegonal GmbH)