Parental leave: advise and inform

Service Description

Parental leave is unpaid time off for parents after the birth of a child. Your employer must release you from work for up to 3 years per child.

During this time, you have special protection against dismissal and do not receive a salary. However, compensation through parental allowance is possible and must be applied for separately.

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) has made various advice centers and information materials available on the subject of parental leave.


Parental leave begins

  • for mothers, after the maternity protection period, i.e. 8 weeks after the birth of the child.
  • for the other parent, from the birth of the child at the earliest.

Relation to the child

Parental leave is possible for

  • biological children.
  • natural children of your wife or husband or your partner.
  • children for whom you as the father have applied for an acknowledgment of paternity or a determination of paternity, even if a decision on your application has not yet been made.
  • Foster children in full-time care.
  • Adopted children, even if the adoption proceedings are still ongoing, so-called "child in adoption care".
  • Grandchildren, if one of the child's parents is a minor or is in education that began before the child's 18th birthday, provided both of the child's parents are not taking parental leave
  • Siblings, nieces or nephews, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, for example, if both parents have a serious illness or disability or are deceased.


Both parents can take 3 years of parental leave each, regardless of whether the other parent also takes parental leave.

You can divide the parental leave into up to 3 periods or take it all at once. The decisive factor for the division is whether the parental leave or parts of the parental leave were taken

  • before the 3rd birthday or
  • between the child's 3rd and 8th birthdays.

of the child. With the employer's consent, more sections can also be taken.


You register the parental leave in writing, but informally with the employer. The deadline for registration is

  • within the first 3 years of the child's life, no later than 7 weeks before the desired start of parental leave,
  • from the child's 3rd birthday until the child's 8th birthday, no later than 13 weeks before the desired start of parental leave.

Your employer is obliged to confirm the parental leave.

Information on parental leave

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) provides further information and contact details for advice centers to find out about parental leave. These are, for example

  • the family portal on the Internet
  • the brochure "Elterngeld und Elternzeit
  • the service telephone of the family portal
  • the search for authorities for on-site advice

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Thüringen (Linie6PLus)

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