Monday, 17 February, 2020

Parental leave for fathers – what is possible and useful?

The time after the birth of a child is valuable. The sprout grows fast and gives little successes almost every day. A time that fathers should not miss. Unfortunately, their jobs often leave them out most of the time, and in the evening they can only be told what progress the child has made during the day, that he has spoken his first word or taken his first step. Fathers’ parental leave should now also give male parents the opportunity to personally experience the development of their child.

A child can give so much joy, but as a father you have to be able to get involved. But if you are out of the house for eight, ten or twelve hours a day, sometimes even for a longer period of time on business or after work or even with the thoughts on the job, quickly missed this unique time in life and suddenly the children are great. Spending time together is important to build shared memories and a healthy relationship . Children should feel that they can rely on their father and come first. They need him as a role model and rock in the surf. It is therefore important that the father has enough time from birth to build such a relationship with his own child – and simply toto enjoy the time together to the full , without stress in the job or permanent absence.

Parental leave for fathers should also relieve mothers

On the one hand, parental leave for fathers serves the purpose of strengthening the relationship between father and child. It should also give the male parent the opportunity to fully devote themselves to the family, at least for a period of time and without any financial worries. On the other hand, it simply serves equal rights, because of course, women should also have the free choice, whether they want to put down for their child in the job and to what extent. Due to the fathers’ parental leave, both parents can share their education and still pursue their careers. In addition, they can of course also take parental leave at the same time – simply to grow together as a family or to use the free time with the children for a trip around the world, The possibilities are almost endless, giving parents maximum flexibility in how to balance work, education, family time & co.

How much parental leave does Fathers have?

There is no legal difference between parental leave for fathers and mothers. Both parents have a right to parental leave with a total duration of 36 months. But this does not have to be taken completely or in one go. Instead, the requirement is: Twelve months of parental leave must be taken in the first three years of life of the child. The remaining 24 months can be used until the child’s eighth birthday. Although employers must keep the job in question – or equivalent – free during this period, they will not continue to pay salary. Instead, the state jumps in with the parental allowance.

Nevertheless there is a difference between the sexes: The woman has maternity protection eight weeks after the birth and is therefore exempt from work. The father does not have such a claim. He has to apply for the unpaid leave from work in good time if he wants to be there during or immediately after the birth for his wife and child. However, as already mentioned, he is free to take parental leave at a different time or split it flexibly over several stages. Incidentally, this parental leave for fathers was introduced in 2007 in ยง 15 (1) BEEG . Here are also the requirements set when a man is entitled to parental leave:

He has to live with the child in a household and

actively participate in the care and education and

may not work more than 30 hours per month during this time.

The earliest possible time to start parental leave is the birth of the child. From then on, the parental allowance will also be paid . So why are only a few men making use of this option?

Many men fear for their career

Finances are rarely the reason fathers do not use parental leave. Instead, they often fear for their jobs or their careers, ie the absence of further promotions or salary increases. So you are afraid to literally shoot yourself out of your long absence at the employer. A fear that unfortunately is not unfounded in all companies and a problem that affects many mothers, While parental leave is a protection against dismissal – but not afterwards. If it is legally possible, you may actually have to fear a termination. Often the topic is also difficult with fixed-term contracts, which expire before, during or shortly after parental leave and may not be renewed. In addition, as already mentioned, the employer only has to keep an equivalent job vacant. Many fathers are afraid that this afterwards, however, means a step backwards. Either way, the inhibition threshold for many men is still high when it comes to the topic of parental leave.

Are there alternatives to parental leave for fathers?

The interesting question is whether there is no alternative – a healthy middle ground, so to speak, without adverse effects on the job, but still enough time with the child? In fact, many fathers resort to options such as a temporary reduction in working hours, the reduction of overtime or a long vacation. There is also a holiday trick that fathers can use so that, despite parental leave, the leave entitlement is not reduced. In the end, the Lord of Creation has plenty of opportunities to spend time with the child without fear of adverse effects on their careers. A combination of parental leave, holidays, part-time work or overtime reduction is possible and so there is actually no excuse for you to spend no “quality time” with the offspring. Finally, fathers’ parental leave is a win-win situation for everyone involved!

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