Parents-to-be are entitled to parental leave (Elternzeit) and parental pay (Elterngeld).
The Family Office can provide you with information about regulations governing parental leave and parental pay, the application process, special regulations for administrative and technical staff as well as for academic staff on short-term contracts, and how to keep in contact with your department while away.
All employees of Universität Hamburg are eligible for parental leave, regardless of type of employment contract, e.g., short-term, part-time, student assistant, or trainee.
In special cases, grandparents are also eligible to apply for parental leave.
Applying for parental leave
You must apply in writing to your employer at the latest seven weeks prior to commencement of parental leave (six weeks prior for civil servants). This also applies when parental leave is to be taken directly after the birth of the child (e.g., parental leave for fathers) or is to immediately follow the period of statutory maternity leave.
Applying for parental leave
You must indicate a binding parental leave period in your application for parental leave. No approval is required from your employer. The application form is available from your personnel department or you can download it here:
- Antrag auf Elternzeit für ab dem 01.09.2021 geborene Kinder (DOCX; in German only)
- Antrag auf Elternzeit für bis zum 31.08.2021 geborene Kinder (DOCX; in German only)
You must submit your application for parental leave by the respective deadline. Please contact your responsible staff member in Department 6: Human Resources.
Fathers who wish to take parental leave directly following the birth of their child should indicate in their application that they intend to take parental leave "from birth" (ab Geburt). Furthermore, your employer needs to be informed about the estimated date of birth so that he or she can make the necessary provisions (e.g., recruiting a replacement).
The application process—who informs whom?
Employees of Universität Hamburg should inform their immediate employer, i.e., the administrative or academic department in which they work, of a pregnancy or impending parenthood in order to discuss potential maternal protective measures, regulations for organizing a deputy or replacement, parental leave, the possibility of returning to work, and keeping in touch with the department during parental leave. Further information is available in the section Staying in touch—maintaining workplace ties. Your department will inform the Personnel Department that you are expecting a child.
The application for parental leave must be submitted by the employee to the responsible personnel section by the respective deadline. Please contact the responsible staff member in Department 6: Human Resources.
After you have notified the relevant personnel section, it will automatically inform you about maternity leave, parental leave, and parental pay regulations. It will also inform you of how parental leave affects your employment contract. Fathers-to-be who have notified their personnel section that they are expecting a child will receive the same information.
The Department of Human Resources then requests approval for your application for parental leave from your department.
Commencement and duration of parental leave
All parents-to-be are eligible for parental leave until children reach the age of three, provided they take care of the children themselves. It is up to the parents to decide which parent will take parental leave. Both parents can go on parental leave at the same time or one after the other.
Statutory maternity leave (up to 8 weeks after childbirth) is deducted from the maximum complete parental leave period of 3 years. Fathers may commence parental leave when the child is born, or at anytime during the mother's statutory maternity leave.
Regulations applicable to parents with children born before 1 July 2015:
A portion of up to 12 months of parental leave can be transferred until the child reaches the age of 8. Parents can thus spend more time caring for their children when they start school or during other periods of greater need. Approval from your employer is required in order to transfer parental leave accordingly.
More flexible parental leave for children born after 1 July 2015:
The following applies to all children born after 1 July 2015: as has hitherto been the case, parents may take unpaid leave up until a child's third birthday. In the future, however, parents can take 24 instead of 12 months between the child's third and eighth birthday. Approval from the employer is no longer required. However, parents must notify their employer 13 weeks prior to commencing parental leave after their child's third birthday. When commencing parental leave before their child's birthday, they must provide only 7 weeks notice. Now both parents can divide their parental leave into three instead of only two sections. The employer can deny a third parental leave period for urgent operational reasons only if it commences between the child's third and eighth birthday.
Special protection from dismissal
Employers are not permitted to dismiss employees on parental leave. Protection from dismissal commences as soon as an employee officially notifies his or her employer that he or she intends to take parental leave (at the earliest eight weeks prior to the commencement of parental leave), and ends when the period of parental leave ceases.
Length of parental leave
You are bound to the length of parental leave you specified in your application. Extending or curtailing parental leave requires approval from your employer, i.e., from Universität Hamburg. In such cases, the University makes every effort to take the wishes of mothers and fathers into consideration.
Part-time employment during parental leave
Parents may work part-time, for a maximum of thirty hours per week, while on parental leave. Income derived from part-time employment during parental leave will be factored into the calculation of parental pay. If both mother and father receive parental pay simultaneously and also work part-time during their parental leave, they may do so for a maximum of seven months. Further information on how parental pay is calculated when you continue to work part-time is available on the Website "Familienportal" (in German only) from the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ).
Your vacation entitlement for the calendar year is curtailed by one twelfth for every full calendar month of your parental leave. If you did not use up any or part of your vacation prior to taking parental leave, you are entitled to take your remaining vacation during the calendar year in which you return from parental leave or during the following calendar year. If you were given too much vacation prior to taking parental leave, your vacation entitlement when you return to work from will be reduced accordingly, pursuant to § 17 (1) BEEB.
- Act on parental pay and parental leave (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz, BEEG, in German only)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION for technical and administrative staff (TVP)
Pay scale increments during parental leave
Contractual incremental salary increases do not continue during parental leave. When you resume work, incremental increases continue as before. Exception: If you work part-time during parental leave, incrementation continues as usual.
Annual special payment
Pursuant to the Federal Parental Pay and Parental Leave Act (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz), you receive one twelfth of your annual special payment (Jahressonderzahlung) for each month of parental leave you take up until the end of the calendar year in which your child was born.
After parental leave—taking further leave, going part-time, or resigning
If you decide not to resume your previous employment after the end of parental leave and instead wish to go on leave to look after your child pursuant to § 28 TV-L (KUS-Portal), or resume part-time pursuant to § 11 TV-L (KUS-Portal), you need to inform Personnel Section 64 at the latest three months prior to the end of your parental leave so that all legal measures relating to your employment can be taken care of.
Should you wish to terminate your employment contract, you must give three months' notice, pursuant § 19 of the Federal Parental Pay and Parental Leave Act.
Part-time and short-term contract regulations
Employees on short-term contracts pursuant to §14 of the Part-Time and Short-Term Contract Act (Teilzeit- und Befristungsgesetz, TzBfG - in German only) are not entitled to have their employment contract extended by the period of leave. Please contact your responsible staff member in Department 6.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION for civil servants
Most important download documents for civil servants
- Verordnung über die Elternzeit für hamburgische Beamtinnen und Beamte (HmbEltZVO) (PDF, in German only)
- Durchführungshinweise zur Hamburgischen Elternzeitverordnung (HmbEltZVO) (PDF, in German only)
- Verordnung zur Änderung der Hamburgischen Elternzeitverordnung (HmbEltZVO) und der Hamburgischen Erholungsurlaubsverordnung (HmbEUrlVO) (PDF, in German only)