P as in Parental leave

What do I have to do to take parental leave?

Parental leave gives parents the right to request time off from their employer to raise and care for their children. 

Does my employer have to approve parental leave?

The employee must announce their time off in writing seven weeks prior to the start date and does not require any kind of employer approval. A template for the notice towards the employer can be found in the download section.

Can I be terminated during my absence?

An employee may not be terminated from eight weeks before the start of parental leave until its last day. During this time, employees may also request to be employed on a part-time basis instead of a full leave of absence. After parental leave, the conditions of the previous employment contract continue to apply. However, the employer is allowed to assign another area or content of work to the employee, thus there is no entitlement to the previous specific job.

During this time, the employee is not entitled to salary, the loss of salary can be compensated by parental allowance, which can be applied for at the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt). Parental allowance amounts to about 65% of the last net salary, with a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 1,800 euros.


Please note: This is a very general overview on german labor law. If you need help in your particular case, please do not hestitate to contact me or book your appointment. I’m happy to help.