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Parental Leave in Germany

Mothers and dads should be able to take time off after having a child to focus on the new addition to their family and care for the newborn. During this period, the company may only sever ties with the employee in extreme cases (e.g. insolvency, the business shutdown). Therefore, parents should be able to return to their jobs at the same level they were before taking parental leave. Parents may get assistance with their parental leave applications at the so-called Elterngeldstellen.

Why Does Germany Have Such A Thing As Parental Leave?

Parental leave is when parents are granted time off from their jobs to care for their children without receiving pay. A maximum of three years of rest is available, and it may be shared between both parents. After that, it's entirely up to the parent whether or not they want to work (up to 32 hours a week).

New parents may qualify for parental allowance even though parental leave is unpaid (Elterngeld). This government-funded initiative may provide a monthly benefit of up to 1,800 Euros.

Who Can Take Time Off To Care For A Child?

Any worker under a valid employment contract in Germany (full-time, part-time, marginal employment, a fixed-term or permanent contract, etc.) is eligible for parental leave. Students in this program have the same moniker. The parental leave period lasts until the kid becomes three years old. There is no parental leave for students, learners, interns, the self-employed, or the jobless.

Parents who both work may share parental leave, either taking turns or both at the same time. However, working moms and dads who are residents of the same home as their kid and who provide the bulk of the child's care must meet specific residency and caregiving requirements to qualify for parental leave.

Who In Germany Is Not Eligible To Take Parental Leave?

You are not eligible for parental leave if you are a student, intern, sole proprietor, or jobless.

How Long May One Take Off Work?

Each kid qualifies for a maximum of three years of leave. All three years are not required. You may take as many days, weeks, or months. Take the time between your child's third and eighth birthdays if you did not take it in the three years before their third birthday (if your employer allows it).

It's important to remember that the two months of maternity leave you take after giving birth are part of your parental leave if you're the mother. So the remaining time on your parental leave will be 2.10 years.

When Can One Begin Their German Parental Leave?

Parental leave might begin at the time of the birth of the kid. However, your leave of absence from work as a parent need not start on the day your kid is born. Anytime before your child's third birthday is an excellent time to take a leave of absence.

How does one go about requesting parental leave in Germany, exactly? If you want to take parental leave, you must give your employer at least seven weeks' written notice. On, you may find an example letter to your employer (in German). In addition, a letter of acceptance from your employer is something you should get.

● Notify your employer at least 13 weeks in advance if you want to take parental leave after your kid turns 3.

● Just before your kid turns 3

● You can take all three years at once or break them up into smaller chunks. Your child's birth will determine how many periods you are permitted to take.

● In the case of a kid born on or after July 1, 2015, you are eligible for a maximum of three grace periods.

● You would qualify for a maximum of 2 time periods if your kid were born before July 1, 2015.

● If your boss is amenable to the idea, there's no harm in asking for additional time off.

● Between the ages of three and eight, your child may still be "young."

● You may utilize the time between your child's third and eighth birthdays if you don't use the whole three years before their third birthday. How long you can carry someone over depends on their date of birth:

● A maximum of 24 months may be carried over if your child was born on or after July 1, 2015.

● You're only allowed to transfer up to a year's worth of time if your child was born before July 1, 2015.

German Parental Leave Benefits

The following tables provide a concise overview of the German parental leave benefits companies in that country should be aware of.

● Even though fathers do not have any special legal protections, they are often given two or three days of paid leave after the birth of a child. However, until their kid is 3, both parents are entitled to unpaid leave. The father's responsibility is to request parental leave if he wants to spend extra time with his infant. As an alternative to maternity leave, "parental leave" is used for moms who choose to remain home after their protected leave ends.

● Parents are not required to take time off from work to care for a newborn. The leave may be taken by both parents simultaneously or separately. Each set of parents is entitled to 3 years.

● Requests for parental leave must be submitted seven weeks in advance, and leave may be taken in three separate blocks.

● Only the first section or any modifications to previously agreed-upon dates need the employer's approval.

● Two years of parental leave may be taken between the child's third and eighth birthdays. Employees are obligated to provide warnings, while their employers are not.

● Workers who take parental leave are guaranteed not to be fired. Their current positions must be preserved, and they must be allowed to return to the same, or a comparable, role whenever this one is no longer feasible.

● However, although workers are protected from being fired while on parental leave, the employment contract is stopped, and the company is not obligated to pay the employee. As a result, the government will provide workers with a stipend (up to $14,040) if they apply. There is no compensation for the remaining time off.

● The sum of this allowance is calculated as a percentage of the employee's average annual pay in the 12 months before the birth of the kid. Adoptive parents' income when their adopted kid moves home with them is the determining factor in whether or not they can adapt.

● Simply put, the amount ranges from 60% to 67% of the median income in the year before the child's birth. Although it is exempt from taxes and social security contributions, the maximum monthly amount is just €1.800 (or a minimum of €300).

● You must declare any money you get while receiving a parental allowance from the state, and the amount you receive will be reduced appropriately.

● In the year preceding the birth of a child, parents who earned more than €500,000 (€250,000 if single) are not eligible for the parental allowance.

● While on parental leave, privately insured parents must keep up with their health insurance premium payments in full, including their employer's share.

● During parental leave, workers have the option of working fewer hours. They are eligible for part-time employment with their company, up to 30 hours weekly. Following parental leave, all contractual rights and duties will resume per the original agreement.

● If both parents work part-time for at least four months during parental leave, the employee is entitled to earn half the parental allowance for two parents. The funding will continue for another four months for both of you.

● Vacation time continues to accumulate for workers while they are on parental leave but may be prorated at 1/12th for each month the employee is away.

● The employee is entitled to take any unused leave upon their return from parental leave, including vacation time.

Parental Leave Without Pay (Ouderschapsverlof)

Parental leave is a legal privilege that allows new mothers to reduce their work hours after giving birth. The terms of your employment agreement will not change while you are on parental leave. You must have worked for the company for a year or more before you may take parental leave. Each parent in a couple is entitled to paid leave, although both may use it if they want. Nothing to do with how many hours you put in. Each kid under eight qualifies for one week of parental leave.

Your weekly leave entitlement is proportional to the number of hours you put in each week. A total of 26 times your regular weekly hours of labour is the most you may get. Case in point. A maximum of 624 hours (26 x 24 hours) of parental leave is available if you work 24 hours weekly. Six months of leave is now available to you. It is up to the discretion of the employee's employer to determine the specifics of parental leave, such as the number of hours worked per week and the length of time off. As long as your kid is under eight, you are eligible to take time off.

You should be able to schedule your own time off from work, provided your employer does not provide compelling grounds for not allowing you to. Such time off is only to be taken all at once and never in installments. Each collective bargaining agreement may have its own unique set of provisions.

Parental Leave Allowance

While on parental leave, you will not be paid by your company. However, you may apply for parental allowance, a sort of financial assistance from the government that compensates you if you temporarily work less or not at all following the birth of a child.

Do children of foreign professionals get a similar allowance?

The German government provides a parental allowance to EU, EEA, IL, NO, and CH citizens who make the country their permanent home. Foreign nationals with a work permit or permanent residency in Germany are eligible for the parental allowance. Parental allowance is not available to those in Germany for educational or vocational purposes.

What is the maximum amount of child support my family will accept?

Parental allowance amounts are situation- and option-specific. Find out roughly how much parental allowance you will get with the help of the calculator. This assessment has no legal weight. This might result in a greater or lesser payout. You are permitted to work up to an average of 32 hours per week throughout your parental leave.

You may keep working your part-time job before having a baby, or you can negotiate a reduction in your hours with your employer. You may ask your boss for more hours if you're already employed full-time. Here's where things get interesting: if your current company doesn't let you work part-time for them, you may ask to work part-time for someone else, either as an employee or freelancer.

Your typical work schedule must be resumed after your parental leave ends. However, if you've been working for your company for more than six months and there are more than fifteen people on staff, you have the legal right to ask to work fewer hours. Visit the official German website for additional information on this legislation (in German).

In Germany, is parental leave protected against termination?

During your paid parental leave, your employment is secure. There is a maximum of eight weeks before the start of your Elternzeit that are protected, but that protection begins when you submit your request for parental leave. Only in extreme cases, such as if the firm goes bankrupt or you seriously breach your employment contract, may your employer terminate you.

Taking parental leave during probationary employment is likewise covered by this additional safeguard. However, there is no hard and fast rule about the length of time a company will extend a probationary term to accommodate maternity leave, so check your employment agreement to be sure.

Your employer has the right to terminate your job after the conclusion of your parental leave, provided that you are given at least three months' notice. It's not simple for employers to let employees go on maternity leave since they require permission from the relevant government. If you are unjustly terminated while on parental leave, you have up to three weeks to file an appeal with the appropriate regional regulatory body.


Germany's generous parental leave policy allows parents to participate in their children's early development.

A parent may take parental leave for whatever long they see fit (up to three years). Parental leave arrangements are entirely voluntary and dependent on the wishes of the family and any applicable policies of the employer. A mother can extend her parental leave beyond the end of her maternity leave. It's essential to keep in mind that parental leave is time off with no pay. Apply for the parental allowance on your own if you need financial assistance from the government (Elterngeld)

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