All employees of Freie Universität Berlin can apply for parental leave (Elternzeit). This means that employees working under a fixed-term contract, part-time employees, student assistants, apprentices, and trainees are also eligible.
Mothers and fathers have a legal claim to parental leave until a child reaches the age of three years. Part of that leave, up to 24 months, can be taken between the child's third birthday and the time when he or she reaches the age of eight years.
Parental leave taken before a child reaches the age of three years must be announced to the employer or the relevant personnel office no later than seven weeks before leave is to begin. For the period between a child's third birthday and the time when he or she reaches the age of eight years, at least 13 weeks' notice prior to the start of the parental leave is required. In addition, the personnel office of Freie Universität provides information on the consequences of parental leave in terms of a person's employment.
Any person who takes care of a child and interrupts or reduces his or her gainful employment to do so is eligible for state-provided parental benefits (Elterngeld). Eligibility also extends to those who are unemployed and to students. To apply for parental benefits, please contact a parental benefits office (Elterngeldstelle) in the district where you live.
Parental benefits are calculated according to income in the 12 months preceding the birth. The benefits are between 65% and 100% of net income, but not less than 300 euros. The maximum is 1,800 euros.
Via a special kind of benefit called "ElterngeldPlus," the period for which parents receive parental benefits can be extended if the parents work part-time after the child's birth. An additional partnership bonus (Partnerschaftsbonus) of up to four additional months is available for parents who both work between 25 and 30 hours per week during this time.