First, Kaya is hungry. Dad, Dan Schnider, takes the small cloth out of the pram with a practiced grip and drapes it over his partner Jasmin Burkhalter. Now she can discretely feed her three-month-old daughter. You can see it straight away: Dan and Jasmin are an experienced team. The adoration the pair have for their baby is palpable.
We have arranged an interview at the Zurich Switzerland cafeteria in Oerlikon. Here the couple recounts how they got to know one another – like so many others, at the workplace. Meanwhile, little Kaya lies in her rocker and looks around with wide eyes.
A kiss in Kaufleuten
"Coincidence brought us together," explains Dan Schnider. The 39-year-old marketing consultant works in the "Campaign & Project Management" team at Zurich Switzerland and supervises more than 40 general agents. Jasmin Burkhalter (38) currently works in the sister team "Sponsoring & Live Marketing" and organizes all kinds of events. But in 2015 she was working in a different area. So it was pure coincidence that at a general agent's summer party she ended up in a two-person team with Dan Schnider for a friendly Pétanque tournament. From then on, the pair would exchange a few words each time they met in the corridor or in the cafeteria. But it was only at the Christmas party that they spoke at greater length.
Here they arranged to meet at the Christmas market on December 23. After this, they went to the Zurich insider club Kaufleuten, where Dan worked as a bouncer since his student days. "We kissed each other for the first time there on the balcony," Dan recalls. Six months later, Jasmin moved in with him.
"It's nice to share experiences"
A native American name
Dad gives the little one her first baby food
Well catered for as an unmarried couple
Jasmin Burkhalter also values the flexibility of Zurich as her employer, "I was able to choose when I would return to work and how many hours I would take on. That's a huge privilege." Zurich also supported the couple in making provisions for their future: "We wanted to make sure the little one would be taken care of, if something were to happen to either of us. It's because we aren't married that we took out extensive private cover – and we looked inhouse to Zurich for advice here. That was invaluable."
All of this is of no concern to the little Kaya. She continues to lie relaxed in her rocker, admired by passing work colleagues, the secret star of the cafeteria.
Generous arrangement for parental leave
"To attain greater equality in the workplace, and in society as a whole, we need to offer parents the choice of assuming the role of principal or secondary parent," says Jolanda Grob, Chief Human Resources Officer of Zurich Switzerland.
By focusing on the role of primary carer without taking gender into consideration, Zurich wants to make a global statement: The principal parent is thus eligible for up to 20 weeks of parental leave with fully salary. Naturally, this arrangement also applies to adoptive and same-sex parents. We have been granting our employees who assume the role of the secondary parent six weeks of parental leave with full salary since January 2020.