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Before parental leave

If you are expecting an addition to the family and would like to take parental leave, you are likely to have many questions, such as:

  • When and how should I be informing my manger of my pregnancy?
  • How can I ensure I get the most out of my time away from work?
  • Which documents and/or forms will I need, and what are the key dates or deadlines I need to observe?
  • What else should I be aware of?

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Important information about parental leave:

Each parent is entitled to parental leave for the care and upbringing of their child until they have completed their third year of life (3 years). The employment relationship remains in effect and after the expiry of the parental leave, there is a right to return to the previous working hours. Mothers and fathers can transfer parental leave to the period between the third birthday and the completion of the child's eighth year of life instead of the previous twelve months. An agreement of the employer is not required.

Each parent can divide his or her parental leave into three periods. However, the employer may refuse the third part of parental leave for urgent operational reasons if it is between the third birthday and the child's eighth birthday. Distribution to further or more than three periods is only possible with the agreement of the employer.

Part-time work until the child's third birthday can only be refused in writing by the employer within four weeks for urgent operational reasons. A part-time work (legal entitlement), which is planned between the third birthday and the completion of the eighth year of the child, the employer can only reject in writing within eight weeks for urgent operational reasons.

The protection against dismissal for a parental leave begins from the registration of parental leave. For a parental leave period between the third birthday and the completion of the eighth year of the child's protection against dismissal at the earliest 14 weeks before the start of parental leave.

New regulation of the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act from 01.09.2021

This results in the following new regulations for parental allowance:

  • More part-time opportunities and more flexible partnership bonus
  • Parents of premature babies receive additional months of parental allowance
  • Administrative simplifications and clarifications
  • Adjustment of the income limits


Additional Information

Since July 2015, the ElterngeldPlus can be used, giving parents the following benefits:

  • prolonged receipt of parental benefit for part-time
  • Possibility of partnership bonus for shared part-time
  • Flexibility of parental leave

Further information about the Elterngeld and ElterngeldPlus as well as the corresponding brochures for download can be found under Information / Downloads