Parental leave (childcare leave): entitlement, registration and childcare allowance

Who can take parental leave?

In principle, mothers and fathers who are employed can claim parental leave from their employer. An entitlement exists up to the completion of the 3rd year of life of a child,

• for which you are entitled to personal care,
• of the spouse,
• that you have entered into adoption foster care.
You have to live in a household with this child and look after and raise them yourself. In the case of an adopted child and a child in adoptive care, parental leave can be taken for a total of up to three years from the date on which the child is taken into care, but no longer than the child's B. Parental leave can be taken by both married couples and parents who are not married to each other, provided that they take care of the child (e.g. unmarried fathers who are entitled to take care of the child on the basis of a declaration of custody).

For the status of an employee, it is irrelevant whether the employment relationship is permanent, temporary or part-time. This is why trainees, home workers and marginal part-time workers are also entitled to parental leave. However, the self-employed, schoolchildren and students are excluded from this. Special rules apply to civil servants and other civil servants.

Can the employer determine the length of parental leave?

If both parents are employed, they can decide for themselves:

• One parent takes parental leave alone.
• Both partners take turns.
• Both partners take parental leave wholly or temporarily at the same time.

The legislature wants to offer parents more opportunities to organize the distribution of tasks in the family. The employer may not in any way dictate the length of parental leave to the parents. However, you must give your employer specific information about the length and location of your parental leave. Please note that since January 1st, 2001, one year of parental leave can be carried over to the period between the child's 3rd and 8th birthday with the consent of the employer. For example, you can take parental leave during the time that is particularly important for the child when they start school.

When does parental leave have to be "registered" with the employer?

Wenn Sie unmittelbar nach der Geburt Ihres Kindes oder nach der Maternity protection period die Elternzeit nehmen möchten, müssen Sie Ihren Chef hierüber mindestens sechs Wochen zuvor schriftlich darüber in Kenntnis setzen. Soll die Elternzeit später in Anspruch genommen werden, beträgt die Frist acht Wochen.
At the same time, you must make a binding declaration to the employer about the time frame for which you are taking parental leave. You are then fundamentally bound by this agreement. In other words, changes would only be possible in agreement with the boss. The parental leave taken by the parents alone or together may be spread over up to four periods.

To what extent is it allowed to work during parental leave?

Nach der neuen Gesetzeslage dürfen Sie während der Elternzeit 30 Stunden pro Woche arbeiten. Dies gilt für beide Elternteile, sodass während einer gemeinsamen Elternzeit eine Teilzeitarbeit von zusammen 60 Stunden wöchentlich erlaubt ist. Auf diese Weise sind sowohl Vater als auch Mutter nicht mehr gezwungen, ihre Erwerbstätigkeit zu unterbrechen und können trotzdem die Betreuung ihres Kindes übernehmen. Gemäß § 15 Abs. 7 Bundeserziehungsgeldgesetz (BErzGG) haben Sie sogar ein Recht darauf, dass die Arbeitszeit während der Elternzeit auf einen Umfang zwischen 15 und 30 Wochenstunden reduziert wird. Als Voraussetzung hierfür müssen in dem business in der Regel mehr als 15 Arbeitnehmer beschäftigt sein, und es dürfen keine dringenden betrieblichen Gründe einer Arbeitszeitverringerung entgegenstehen.

If you want to work part-time for another employer or as a self-employed person, you need the approval of your boss. However, a rejection can only be made within four weeks for urgent operational reasons. When parental leave has ended, you can, according to the law, be entitled to return to your previous working hours.

Can the employer give notice during parental leave?

During parental leave, the same special protection against dismissal applies as for mothers during pregnancy and the maternity protection period. The employee can only terminate the employment relationship at the end of the parental leave with a notice period of three months.

What will happen to your vacation?

In principle, the employer can (but does not have to) reduce your vacation leave by one twelfth for each full calendar month for which you take parental leave. However, this does not apply if you work part-time for your employer during parental leave.

If you have not received the vacation due to you before the start of parental leave or not in full, then you must be granted your remaining vacation after parental leave in the current or the next vacation year.

If the employment relationship ends during or after parental leave, the employer must financially compensate for the leave that was not granted.

Who is entitled to childcare allowance?

You can claim childcare allowance in the following cases:

• You have a place of residence or your habitual abode in Germany.

• You live in a household with a child for whom you are entitled to take care of yourself.
These can be your own children, but also stepchildren, adopted or foster children.

• You look after and raise this child.

• You have no or no full gainful employment.

Mainly housewives and men are not gainfully employed, but also volunteers, schoolchildren and students as well as employees during parental leave. A job is not fully employed if the weekly working time does not exceed 30 hours or if an occupation is carried out for vocational training.

The receipt of unemployment benefit or assistance, sickness benefit, injury benefit or comparable benefits excludes the receipt of childcare benefit if the assessment basis for this is remuneration for employment of more than 30 hours per week.

The right to childcare allowance is income-related and exists from the day of birth until the child is 24 months old. It must be applied for in writing for one year of life. Childcare allowance is granted retrospectively for a maximum of six months before the application is submitted. You should therefore apply for the childcare allowance in good time. For the receipt of childcare allowance during the first six months of the child's life, the income limits are 100,000 DM for parents and 75,000 DM for single parents with one child. From the 7th month of life, the income limits for the full childcare allowance drop to DM 32,200 for parents with one child and to DM 26,400 for single parents with one child.

How much is the child-raising allowance?

The unreduced parental allowance is DM 600 per month. A new feature is the ability to limit the parental allowance to just one year and receive a higher amount of DM 900 per month until the child's first birthday.

Where can the childcare allowance be applied for?

The federal government pays the childcare allowance, but there are different regulations in the individual federal states where it has to be applied for (ideally immediately after the birth):

Baden-Württemberg -> Landeskreditbank
Bavaria -> pension offices
Berlin -> district offices
Brandenburg -> youth welfare offices of the independent cities
Bremen -> Office for Social Services / Youth Welfare Office
Hamburg -> district offices
Hessen -> pension offices
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania -> pension offices
Lower Saxony -> independent cities / districts
North Rhine-Westphalia -> pension offices
Rhineland-Palatinate -> youth welfare offices
Saarland -> State Office for Social Affairs and Supply
Saxony -> Offices for family and social affairs (family benefits)
Saxony-Anhalt -> Schleswig-Holstein pension offices, offices for social services
Thuringia -> Offices for social services

You can obtain further information from the responsible offices. So z. B. In some federal states (including Bavaria, Baden Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Berlin) a family allowance or a state childcare allowance is paid after the federal childcare allowance.

Since the childcare allowance is only granted to one person at a time, both parents, provided they meet the eligibility requirements, can jointly decide who is entitled to be. If an agreement is not reached by the child's third month of life, the woman is automatically deemed to be the beneficiary.

Parental leave - important judgments

No profit sharing during parental leave
Employees are generally not entitled to profit sharing or similar bonuses during parental leave. In the case of profit sharing, unlike in the case of loyalty-related benefits such as B. Christmas bonus - a performance-related bonus that is paid in recognition of a previously specific activity.
ArbG Frankfurt / Main - AZ: 4 Ca 5813/99

Early termination of parental leave
The employment relationship is suspended during the parental leave. During this time, the employee does not owe any work and the employer does not owe any remuneration. The employee's declaration of wanting to go on parental leave becomes effective upon receipt by the employer and is then fundamentally irrevocable.

An early termination of parental leave at the request of the employee is therefore only permitted with the consent of the employer. However, if the employer does not agree to a shortening of the parental leave for no reason whatsoever, such behavior can be viewed as illegal in individual cases. In such a case, the employee cannot be required to be bound by the agreed period of parental leave. However, the employee must prove that the employer is abusing the law.
LAG Hamburg, May 22, 1996 - AZ: 4 Sa 17/96

Part-time work with another employer
During parental leave, an employee is generally entitled to work part-time to a limited extent. However, part-time work with another employer requires the consent of your own employer. If the consent is refused, the employee can sue.

According to Section 15 (4) BErzGG, the employer may refuse to take up part-time employment with another employer if this is contrary to operational interests. This can be accepted if the employee wants to take up part-time work during parental leave at a competing company.
LAG Düsseldorf July 2, 1999 - AZ: 14 Sa 487/99

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