Just today the news agencies report that the current birth rate in Germany is the highest for the last 25 years. Whether this is due to the new “Parental Allowance Plus” remains to be seen. But the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Manuela Schleswig (SPD), is surely pleased about this trend. Yet the “Parental Allowance Plus” has been her project and she has consistently implemented in the term of the current grand coalition.

Well are employers aren’t per se family enemies. But the new “Parental Allowance Plus” has serious impact on the employment relations. Especially because German women on average are 30 years old, when they have their first child. That is, for most parents, the parental allowance phase falls so fully into working life. And, if the new “Parental Allowance Plus” is used by both parents, occupational absence is up to 28 months per child. And there is virtually no way for employers to deny an employee to go into the parental leave. And the parental leave can be used by both partners. This easily can lead to longer-lasting operational bottlenecks.

The new “Parental Allowance Plus” will be paid for 24 months by standard. For parents who work part-time for at least four months, between 25 and 30 hours per week, and share the parental leave, there are four additional bonus months of parental benefit.

Now that the grand coalition has agreed to end the state financing through borrowing, it was not allowed the “Parental Allowance Plus” to cost more than the “old parental benefit”, that is to say from now on “Basic Parental Allowance”. Brought in a nutshell, the “Parental Allowance Plus” will be paid twice as long and is therefore half as high as the “Basic Parental Allowance”.

Of course, the Basic Parental Allowance is still the law and can be taken instead of the Parental Allowance Plus benefits. The essential difference between the two parents’ money is the fact that an additional income through part-time employment, under certain circumstances, is not deducted in Parental Allowance Plus. As everything delivered from the company “German Bundestag”, also the Federal Parents Benefit- and Parental Leave Law (BEEG) is extremely complex. This is a tradition in Germany. Therefore, the calculation is difficult and depends on many other conditions. Every case needs to be calculated individually. Nevertheless, we have tried to calculate 3 possible models. The Basic Parental Allowance without additional income, Basic Parental Allowance with additional income and Parental Allowance Plus with additional income have been considered.

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In principle, with the Parental Allowance Plus parenting and part-time work can be combined in a better way. The Parental Allowance Plus can be applied for all children who were born after July 1, 2015. It is for all parents who want to work part-time during the parental benefits. When both partners are working part-time for at least 4 months, there’s still 4 additional bonus months parental benefit. The Parent Allowance Plus is limited to half the Basic Parental Allowance. The current income tax gets applied; the part-time is limited to 25 … 30 hours per week. It goes without saying that parental benefit can be taken only once per child.

As I said, the employee may apply for the application for a reduction of working time due to use of parental allowance at any time. Plus Parental Allowance can also be requested after the 14th months of child’s age. Employers and employees then must agree within 4 weeks of the application. If the applicant works for more than 6 months at your company and you employ more than 15 workers, you as an employer hove no realistic chance to reject this application.

In this case, the holiday privilege for each full month of parental leave, when no part-time work has been done, can be shortened by one twelfth.

Performance and success-based performance bonuses may be reduced proportionately. Other one-time payments must be paid fully to the employee in parental leave.

How do you cope with the bottleneck caused by workers on parental leave? Discuss with us in the BLOG!