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Parental allowance and parental leave
Parental allowance and parental leave – these benefits give parents more options to organise the care of their small children. The legal right to part-time work gives fathers in particular the opportunity to participate in raising children. This significantly improves the compatibility of family and work.
Parental allowance is paid to all mothers and fathers who take care of their child themselves after the birth and take time off from work or who work a maximum of 30 hours a week. However, trainees and students, housewives and househusbands and parents who have not worked to take care of older children are also entitled to the parental allowance.
The parental allowance is a minimum of 300 euros and a maximum of 1,800 euros. The amount of the parental allowance is based on the average monthly net income of the applying or caring parent in the year before the child was born. If your income is between 1,000 and 1,200 euros, the parental allowance replaces 67 percent of the income you lose after the birth.
For low-wage earners with an income of less than 1,000 euros, the benefit increases gradually to up to 100 percent. The lower the income, the higher the percentage of the parental benefit. For net incomes of 1,200 euros or more before the child is born, the parental allowance falls moderately from 67 to 65 percent – for incomes of 1,220 euros or more to 66 percent, for incomes of 1,240 euros or more to 65 percent.
In the case of multiple births, the parental allowance increases by 300 euros for each additional child. Families with one older child under three years of age (or two older children under six years of age each) benefit from the sibling bonus – a 10 percent supplement to the parental allowance, but at least 75 euros.
Calculation of the parental allowance when receiving social benefits
The parental allowance is fully counted as income for unemployment benefit II, income support and the child supplement – this also applies to the minimum amount of 300 euros. However, there is one exception: if you receive unemployment benefit II, income support or the child supplement and were gainfully employed before the birth of your child, you will receive a parental allowance tax credit as of 1 January 2011. The parental allowance exemption corresponds to the income before the birth but does not exceed 300 euros. Up to this amount, the parental allowance with the aforementioned benefits remains exempt and is therefore also available.
Parents who jointly had a taxable income of more than 500,000 euros in the calendar year prior to the birth of their child are not entitled to parental allowance. Single parents are not entitled to the parental allowance if they have an income of more than 250,000 euros.
You can receive parental allowance as of the day your child is born. One parent can receive the parental allowance for a minimum of two and a maximum of twelve months. You are entitled to two more months if one parent’s earnings is reduced for at least two months because of caring for your child. You can withdraw the monthly amounts due to you one after the other, alternately or at the same time.
If you are a single parent and receive the parental allowance to compensate for lost income, you are entitled to the full 14 months of the parental allowance.
In addition, there is the option of cutting the monthly amounts due to you in half and thus extending the payment period accordingly.
Parental Allowance Plus
Parents whose children are born on or after 1 July 2015 are to be given the option to choose between receiving the previous parental allowance (in future: basic parental allowance) and receiving Parental Allowance Plus as well as to be able to combine both.
Parental Allowance Plus is of interest to you if you want to work part-time again while receiving the parental allowance. If you work an average of up to 30 hours per week, you can receive parental allowance for a longer period of time.
In the Parental Allowance Plus months, a maximum of half of the basic parental allowance is paid out. By making use of the Parental Allowance Plus months, the period of the parental allowance can be extended beyond your child’s 14th month of age.
- Partnership bonus
If parents decide to work 25 to 30 hours per week for four consecutive months of their child’s life, there is an additional partnership bonus. You are then both entitled to four additional monthly amounts of Parental Allowance Plus for these months.
- Flexible parental leave
Parental leave is to be made more flexible for parents whose children are born on or after 1 July 2015. You can then take up to 24 months of previously unused parental leave between your child’s third birthday and the age of eight. At the same time, the registration period for claiming parental leave and part-time parental leave will be extended from seven to 13 weeks during this period.
You can only apply for the parental allowance at the parental allowance office of the youth welfare office in your residential district.
Parental Allowance Digital
You can use the online application wizard of the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth to fill out your parental allowance application online
Please refer to the application form for all the required documents. In addition to a birth certificate and ID card, you must also provide evidence of your income, maternity allowance and, if applicable, parental leave.
For the application it is not necessary to provide the child’s tax identification number (ID no.).
Parental allowance forms
Application for parental allowance
Parental allowance declaration of income (parent 1)
Parental allowance declaration of income (parent 2)
Information sheet about parental allowance