Glossary of Terms

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According to the German law, each parent can take ten working days a year for the care of the sick child that is younger than 12 years. Lone-parents are entitled to 20 days. The number of sick days is doubled for two children. However, with more than two children there is an upper limit: This is 25 days per parent and 50 days for single parents.

Core working time

The core working time or core period finds application in the working model of flextime. Here the core time is the period where the employees are required to be at work (e.g. between 9am to 2pm). The employees are free to divide their other working hours flexible, while still achieving their daily and/ or weekly working hours.

Maternity Leave for pregnant women

Maternity Leave, also sometimes referred to as Maternity protection (German: Mutterschutz) is a special German protection for pregnant women and new mothers. It is a Mandatory time-off from work, six weeks before and eight weeks after childbirth (this jumps to 12 weeks if more than one baby is born).

Parent-child office

A parent-child office is an office that enables work while also looking for children in case of sickness or other eventualities, e.g. they could be equipped with toys and a baby bed.

Parental allowance and Parental allowance “Plus”

Parental allowance is a German state benefit for parents that are not in full-time work or not working at all. Parents who were not working before the birth can also receive the parental allowance. Parental allowance is paid for twelve months and is roughly two-thirds of the previous income. If mothers and fathers share the parental allowance, they together receive parental allowance for a maximum of 14 months. Each parent can draw a minimum of two and a maximum of twelve months’ parental allowance.

For births from 1 July 2015 onwards, parental allowance is available in two variants: as a basic parental allowance which corresponds to the previous parental allowance arrangement, and as parental allowance “Plus” (ElterngeldPlus). Mothers and fathers can use the latter to combine drawing parental allowance and part-time work. Parents who return to work early on a part-time basis receive parental allowance for a longer period. ElterngeldPlus is calculated in the same way as the basic parental allowance, but is at most half the amount of parental allowance to which parents who have no part-time income would be entitled after the birth. Having said that, it is paid for twice as long: a basic parental allowance month = two parental allowance “Plus” months. If mothers and fathers both decide to work part-time simultaneously – for four months in parallel and between 25 to 30 hours per week – they will receive four additional ElterngeldPlus months each. Lone parents are entitled to the full 14 months’ parental allowance and the partnership bonus. Parents can also receive parental allowance if they were not in employment prior to the birth.

Parental Leave

In Germany employees are entitled to parental leave until the child or children turn three. Parental leave can be taken by the mother and father individually or jointly.


Telework summarizes forms of work in which employees perform part of the work outside the employer’s premises. One example is the home office, where the work takes place at home. Often the results of the work are transmitted to the employer via digital channels. The employer might have specific regulations for the telework. This type of work often enables more flexibility.