Unmarried fathers deserve parental rights

Paternity leave: entitlement, application, duration + salary

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When offspring is on the way, parents can now individually or jointly take a break from work and look after the child. More and more fathers are opting for this occupational leave - in short: "paternity leave". However, parental leave has a few pitfalls. We show you how to apply for paternity leave, how long it can last, how it is financed and what fathers need to consider when taking leave of absence ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Paternity leave: what is it?

Paternity leave is the unpaid leave of absence of a male worker because of the birth of his child. Similar to “maternity leave” and parental leave. Although the term “paternity leave” is colloquially used, the term does not exist in a legal sense. There, the break is briefly called parental leave. The right to exemption is regulated in Section 15 of the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act (BEEG). It applies to the mother as well as to the father or both parents at the same time and can be used for up to three years.

Who is entitled to paternity leave?

All fathers who are employed, live with the child in the same household and (predominantly) look after and raise the child themselves are entitled to paternity leave. The right is independent of the employment relationship. It applies to ...

If the claim is made during a fixed-term contract, it is not automatically extended. However, there may be exceptions to this, for example during an apprenticeship.

Paternity Leave Salary: How to Finance?

Paternity leave is a form of unpaid leave. The employment relationship is suspended during this time. Means: You will not receive any salary during this time. Then what do you live on? Various legal regulations apply here, from which fathers receive money: With the birth of the child, parents receive child benefit. It is…

  • 194 euros per month for the first and second child.
  • 200 euros per month for the third child.
  • 225 euros per month for the fourth and each subsequent child.

Parents can also receive parental allowance or apply for Parental Allowance Plus. This gives them between 65 and 100 percent of their previous net income.

In addition, employees on parental leave can earn up to 30 hours a week part-time with their previous employer. Companies with more than 15 employees are entitled to part-time work, provided that the employment relationship has previously existed for at least six months without interruption.

Duration of paternity leave: Until when possible?

Paternity leave usually begins eight weeks after childbirth. So when the maternity leave period expires. It lasts a maximum of three years. After that, the boss has to allow the company to return. If you want to (or have to) look after the child longer, you can apply for unpaid leave - or you have to cancel.

But it is also a transfer of paternity leave from up to two years to the period between the third and eighth year of life of the child. For example, you can take one year immediately after maternity leave and the second and third years in the transition phase between kindergarten and school enrollment. However, the employer must agree to this. You must also tell the boss in advance how long you want your paternity leave to be. You must register for paternity leave between the ages of 3 and 8 13 weeks in advance.

Paternity leave: when to apply?

You must apply for paternity leave at least seven weeks before you start. In writing to the employer. If paternity leave is to begin immediately after the maternity leave period, you must register the leave of absence at the latest one week after the birth. In terms of a trusting and fair employment relationship, you shouldn't wait until the last minute. Clarify the general conditions with your partner and let your employer know in good time so that he can take appropriate precautions for the loss of work.

Pay attention to this when applyingthat you sign it yourself and that you have the parental leave confirmed in writing. An application by email or fax is invalid after a judgment of the Federal Labor Court. You must also determine the periods for which it should apply for the first two years of parental leave.

Incidentally, the consent of the employer is guaranteed. If you apply for paternity leave in a timely and formally correct manner, the boss must agree. The right to this also exists without the consent of the employer.

Can I work despite paternity leave?

Short answer: yes. During parental leave it is possible to work up to 30 hours a week. In larger companies with 15 or more employees, you are even entitled to a part-time position during this time. However, care should be taken that the average weekly working time does not exceed 30 hours. Otherwise the entitlement to parental allowance expires.

Job guarantee and protection against dismissal

Anyone applying for paternity leave has a job guarantee. This means: You can return to the company after three years at the latest. This means that the old employment contract also applies again. Anyone who previously worked full-time can work full-time again, unless otherwise requested. If you prefer to work part-time, you should meet with your employer as early as possible.

The job guarantee does not mean, howeverthat you are entitled to your old job. Often so-called transfer clauses or transfer reservations exist in employment contracts. The employer must offer you a job of equal value with the same pay. But it can also be in a completely different department.

Those who are on paternity leave also enjoy protection against dismissal during this time. Employers are not allowed to give notice from eight weeks before the start of and during the leave of absence. Exception: The termination is declared permissible by the highest state authority responsible for occupational safety. An example of this would be the complete cessation of operations or if the employee has to expect termination without notice due to serious misconduct (theft, sexual harassment).

TIP: Request an interim report!
It is essential that you have an interim certificate issued before the start of parental leave. If you do not return to the job after all, you can use it to apply elsewhere. Otherwise it has a legal “binding effect”. Means: If you get a new boss, he cannot simply judge you significantly worse than in the last reference.

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