More and more fathers in Germany receiving parental allowance

More and more fathers in Germany receiving parental allowance

More parents than ever took advantage of Germany’s parental allowance in 2018. While the numbers of both men and women taking leave rose, the increase in fathers receiving the allowance was especially noteworthy.

Record number take parental leave in Germany

According to statistics released this week by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), last year 1,4 million mothers and 433.000 fathers received a parental allowance from the German government. Compared with 2017, this represents a four percent increase in the number of families taking advantage of the government’s recently-revamped “Scandi-style” system.

The increase is particularly significant among men: while the number of mothers receiving parental allowance rose by three percent, the number of fathers increased by nearly seven percent. Despite this, however, women are still apparently taking on the bulk of responsibilities when it comes to childcare. On average, mothers applied for 11 months’ worth of the benefit and fathers for only three months.

Elterngeld Plus increasingly popular

Since 2015, anyone who pays into the German social security system has had the choice between two types of parental allowance: Elterngeld and Elterngeld Plus. Elterngeld is a basic parental allowance, typically combined with child benefits and maternity benefits. All new mothers are also entitled to maternity leave six weeks before and eight weeks after childbirth.

Elterngeld Plus, however, is a more flexible option, usually combined with part-time work, that allows parents to continue receiving parental benefits over a longer period of time. If both parents take leave, they receive a bonus. You do not need to be married to qualify, and allowances are also made for parents who are single or divorced. This option is clearly becoming more popular, with around one-third of mothers and 13 percent of fathers opting for Elterngeld Plus in 2018.



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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