Parental leave advice

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 receive no pay. However, compensation in the form of parental allowance is possible and must be applied for separately.

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

Start date

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

  • natural children.
  • natural children of your wife or husband or your partner.
  • Children for whom you as the father have applied for paternity acknowledgement or paternity establishment, even if a decision has not yet been made on your application.
  • Foster children in full-time care.
  • Adopted children, even if the adoption procedure is still ongoing, so-called "child in adoptive care".
  • Grandchildren, if one of the child's parents is a minor or is in education or training that began before their 18th birthday, provided that neither of the child's parents is on parental leave
  • Siblings, nieces or nephews, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, for example if both parents have a serious illness or disability or have died.


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

You can divide your 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

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

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


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

  • within the first 3 years of the child's life, at the latest 7 weeks before the desired start of parental leave,
  • from the 3rd birthday to the day of the 8th birthday at the latest 13 weeks before the desired start of parental leave.

Your employer is obliged to confirm your 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 "Parental allowance and parental leave"
  • the service telephone of the family portal
  • the authority search for local advice

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Thüringen (Linie6PLus)

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