The Federal Act on Family Allowances (FamZG) has been in force since 01 January 2009. This establishes a national framework on which the cantons must base their laws.
The family allowance should partly compensate the costs that arise for parents in relation to dependent children. These include child and education allowances as well as the birth and adoption allowances introduced by some cantons.
Since 01 January 2013, all self-employed persons in Switzerland are compulsorily subject to the FamZG. They are therefore entitled to the benefits but also obliged to pay contributions. Self-employed persons must be connected to a family compensation office in the canton in which their business is based.
Family allowances in the agricultural sector are still covered by special rules in the form of the Federal Act on Family Allowances in Agriculture (FLG).