Parents may take unpaid leave from work in order to raise a child. For the first twelve to fourteen months of parental leave, parents are eligible for parental pay. In principle, parents can opt for parental leave without taking parental pay.
Parental pay is income-based salary compensation. Parental pay constitutes 67% of a parent’s prior income (the minimum rate is €300 and the maximum €1,800 per month). Income earned in part-time employment during parental leave is also taken into consideration when calculating parental pay. In this case, parents receive only a proportion of the “lost” income.
For more information, please consult the authorities responsible for your district: Hamburg’s district offices.
Parental pay plus (Elterngeldplus) and partnership bonus (Partnerschaftsbonus)
Parental pay plus (ElterngeldPlus) supports mothers and fathers who want to work part-time while receiving parental pay and continue to do so thereafter. Parental pay plus enables parents to benefit from parental pay funding twice as long. One month of parental pay translates into two months of parental pay plus. Up until now parents lost a portion of their parental pay when combining part-time work with parental pay; any income automatically reduced the amount of parental pay received without there being any form of compensation, such as an extension of parental pay. Under the new parental pay plus program, the full parental pay claim will be divided by two in order to guarentee that parents have more money at their disposal.
The partnership bonus (Partnerschaftsbonus) provides parents working between 25 and 30 hours per week simultaneously over a period of 4 months with an extra 4 months of parental pay plus funding.
You may combine parental pay, parental pay plus, and the partnership bonus. The brochure of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) details various possible scenarios.
In particular single parents may profit from parental pay plus and the partnership bonus. A part-time income combined with 4 parental pay plus months will allow you to take care of your children for longer than 14 months and to keep pace with the demands of your workplace at the same time. Single parents may also receive additional funding comparable with the partnership bonus. If you work 25 to 30 hours per week for at least 4 consecutive months, you will qualify for a further 4 months of parental pay plus payments.
The new parental benefit model includes all children born from 1 July 2015 onwards.
For detailed information on parental pay plus, the partnership bonus as well as on flexibility during parental leave, please visit the webpages of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ).
Parental leave is for both partners
One parent can claim parental pay for a maximum of 12 months. Parents can extend the payment period to 14 months if both partners take leave. This provision was introduced in 2007 and is the reason why many fathers take exactly two months of paid parental leave. This new provision was erroneously referred to as “paternal leave” (so-called Vätermonate), lending the impression that fathers were only permitted to take 2 months of leave. Of course, this is not the case. Both parents can take leave as they see fit, determining who takes leave when and for how long.
To qualify for extended parental pay, at least 1 parent must have a decreased income for 2 months after the child is born. This can be any 2 months within the first 14 months of the child’s life.
In addition, at least 1 parent must have had an income from gainful activity (employment or self-employment) during the 12 months before the child was born. If neither parent had an income from gainful activity during that period, the parents are not eligible for extended parental pay. If only 1 parent was employed or self-employed before the child’s birth, this parent must have a decreased income for 2 months after the child is born to qualify for extended parental pay. This can be any 2 months within the first 14 months of the child’s life.
- Family Services would like to support fathers who want to take parental leave! Please contact us!