Parental Leave ("Elternzeit")

How can I spend more time with my baby despite work?

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Parental leave ("Elternzeit") is an unpaid leave from work for which the parents of babies and young children can apply. If you want to spend more time with your child, you can "go on parental leave". During this time, you do not work or do so only for limited hours. Mothers are not the only ones who use such an opportunity in Germany. More and more fathers apply for parental leave so that they can spend more time with their child in the first years of his/her life. After parental leave, you can return to your previous job.

To learn about the financial options you and your family have during parental leave, check our chapter "Parental Allowance".

What do I need to know?

Can I go on parental leave?

Am I going to get paid during parental leave?

When and for how long can I go on parental leave?

Where and how do I have to sign up for parental leave?

When do I have to register for parental leave?

Can I be fired during parental leave?

Can I quit during my parental leave?

Can I return to the same job position after parental leave?

What happens to my vacation time when I go on parental leave?

Where can I seek advice regarding parental leave?


If you do not work part-time, you will not receive a salary during parental leave, but you can benefit from parental allowance to finance yourself and your family during parental leave. Read more in our chapter "Parental Allowance".