Congratulations—you are about to become a parent!
The Family Office provides information about parental leave and parental pay for students at Universität Hamburg who are about to become parents.
Applying for parental leave
Deadline for applications
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 is also the case when parental leave is to be taken directly after the birth of the child (e.g., parental leave for fathers) or is to follow immediately after the end of the working mothers' protection period.
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 for parental leave. You can obtain the application form from your employer.
- IMPORTANT: Once an application has been approved, both employee and employer are bound to the agreed length of leave. Changes to the length of leave require approval from your employer!
Fathers who wish to take parental leave directly following the birth of their child should indicate in their application the commencement of parental leave as "from birth" (ab Geburt). Furthermore, your employer needs to be informed about the estimated date of birth so that her or she can make the necessary provisions (e.g., recruiting a replacement).
The application process—who informs whom?
The Protection of Working Mothers Act (Mutterschutzgesetz) does not specify when you must inform your employer of your pregnancy. However, an employer is only able to comply with the Act if he or she knows about a pregnancy. You can find out more about statutory maternity leave at our homepage.
You should also discuss issues such as regulations governing temporary replacements, keeping in touch with your department during parental leave, and the opportunities available to you when you return to work.
All mothers and fathers who are employed are eligible for parental leave.
This also includes parents who are working part-time, for example as student assistants at Universität Hamburg or with another employer.
Students are entitled to take up to six semesters of leave from their studies.
Commencement and duration of parental leave
Mothers and fathers who care for their child themselves are legally entitled to take parental leave up until the end of the child's third year of life. Parents decide who takes parental leave. Both parents may take parental leave, either simultaneously or sequentially.
The period of statutory maternity leave, which ends at the end of the eighth week after birth, is calculated as part of the maximum three-year-long period of parental leave. Fathers may take parental leave commencing from the birth of the child, i.e. during the mother's protection period.
Part-time employment during parental leave
Parental leave permits parents to work part-time for a maximum of thirty hours per week. Income from part-time employment during parental leave is factored into 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.
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). Protection ceases as soon as the parental leave period ends.
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 entitlement prior to the commencement of parental leave, you are entitled to take this remaining vacation during the calendar year in which you return from parental leave or during the following calendar year. If your received too much vacation in accordance § 17 (1) BEEB (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz), your vacation entitlement after you return to work from parental leave will be reduced accordingly.
- Parental Pay and Parental Act (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz - BEEG, in German only)
- Brochure Elterngeld und Elternzeit (PDF, in German only) from the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
- Parental Leave information sheet (PDF) issued by the Executive University Board of Universität Hamburg