44 percent of German companies provide no paid partner leave for new parents

44 percent of German companies provide no paid partner leave for new parents

A recent survey has found that 44 percent of companies in Germany offer new parents no paid leave when their partner gives birth - but introducing paid partner leave or “family start time” is on the cards for the coalition government.

Paternity and partner leave still widely unavailable in Germany

A new survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute and requested by the German Ministry for Family has found that 44 percent of companies operating in Germany do not offer their employees a single day off work immediately after their partner has given birth

While the parent who gives birth in Germany is legally entitled to fourteen weeks' maternity leave, 26 percent of fathers or partners are granted just one day off work and another 26 are given two days to spend with their partner and newborn. Just 4 percent of companies give their employees more than two days off to spend with their new baby.

Paus stresses the need to introduce paid partner leave

Discussing the results of the survey, German Minister for Families Lisa Paus (Greens) emphasised the government’s plan to introduce paid partner leave, also known as “family start time”. This would be in addition to parental leave (Elternzeit), a legal entitlement to time off work, given to both parents and can be taken anytime between a child’s birth and their third birthday.

The new “family start time” policy, which has been delayed until 2024, would offer two weeks of paid leave to all partners following the birth of a child and will be part of the Maternity Protection Act. "With the new legislation, we want to provide partners with the opportunity to assist the new mother in caring responsibilities and aid in her recovery. This approach will simultaneously encourage equitable sharing of responsibilities from the outset," said Paus.

Despite the prospective policy having been announced in 2022, the Allensbach Institute survey revealed that many companies are still unaware that paid partner leave may soon be enshrined in law in Germany. 43 percent of survey respondents said that their company believed the policy was a good idea, 31 were not in favour and 26 percent said they were undecided on the matter.

Thumb image credit: Lucky Business /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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