Kids & Family Parental Leave

In Germany, the state supports you in raising your children. As an employee you are entitled to parental leave (Elternzeit) until your child’s third birthday. The maximum period of parental leave is 3 years.

Hamburg Welcome Portal English – Kids & Family – Benefits For Families – Parental Leave

Parental leave offers you the opportunity to care for your child best. Your job remains open to you, and your contract cannot be terminated by your employer. Parental leave can be taken by the mother and father individually or jointly.

The following conditions must be met:

  • You live with the child together in one household.
  • You are the main person who looks after and raises the child.

If necessary, you can work for up to 30 hours a week to ensure a certain amount of family income during parental leave.

You have to submit an application for parental leave with your employer seven weeks prior to the start of the parental leave at the latest.

For births until June 30, 2015 the following applies:

  • A proportion of up to 12 months can – with the consent of the employer – be transferred to a later time before the completion of the child’s eighth year of life.
  • The transfer must be applied for with the employer seven weeks prior to the start of the parental leave.

The following applies to births from 1 July 2015 onwards:

  • A proportion of up to 24 months can be transferred to a later time before the completion of the child’s eighth year of life – a consent of the employer is not necessary.
  • A parental leave in this later period must be applied for with your employer at the latest 13 weeks prior to the start of the parental leave.

The above-mentioned deadlines also apply to part-time work during parental leave.

For more information please visit the website of the Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (website in German only).