Parents Should Be: How to Make Good Agreements at Work – Career Path and Education

How do I say it?

Concrete, binding, and open: Anyone who talks to the principal with clear ideas about planned parental leave has already gotten a lot in. Where are the biggest risks?

from dpa / tmn

Before the offspring is here, there are a lot of things that expectant fathers have to sort out: this also includes agreements for parental leave at work.

Photo: DPA

Bremen/Cologne (dpa/tmn) – If a child is coming, parents suddenly have to spell out hundreds of things at the same time. This also includes: Contracting agreements with the employer. To make sure everything goes smoothly during your planned parental leave, you should discuss upcoming changes with your superiors at an early stage.

Karina Hauer knows what’s important: openness, commitment and concrete planning – for example regarding the length of parental leave. Her advice: If you want to return part-time, you should apply for two or three years of parental leave. This creates more options for returns when it comes to working time models, according to the head of legal advice at the Bremen Chamber of Labor.

mutual understanding of each other

She remembers the times when expectant fathers were humbly seen as supplicants. That has changed: According to Karina Hauer’s experience, there are fewer conflicts than before when introducing parental leave.

However, not all parents enter into a conversation with the manager without worry. For example, it is important to find the right time. As the Federal Department of Family Affairs advises in a handbook on the subject, employees should wait for the time when they are ready to report impending maternity or paternity — which allows for careful planning and implementation of necessary operations prior to parental leave.

Anticipate concerns and provide solutions

If the manager does not have a clear opinion due to unforeseen events, it is recommended to postpone the conversation. In general, employees do well if they try to put themselves in the employer’s perspective and anticipate potential concerns beforehand, according to the guide.

For example, prospective parents should indicate that they are looking forward to returning to work and have specific ideas about it. This makes it clear to the employer that they do not have to worry about the specialist returning. Listing the full tasks and responsibilities will help the team determine who is best to replace you while you are away.

Check alternate plans

The issue of re-entry should also be clarified. “It can get awkward when it comes to part-time hours when you go back to work,” Karina Hauer says. For example, if all the specialists in a doctor’s office want to work only from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., it is difficult to organize this practice.

“In such situations, we advise you not to stick too tightly to your own ideas, but ideally to examine the alternatives yourself and talk to your superiors about your own ideas.” Perhaps one long work day a week could be offered, Hauer says. If both sides show understanding to each other, you can make progress together.

In order to be able to offer as concrete suggestions as possible, Hauer advises clarifying with your partner in advance how childcare will be divided between them and how the working hours will be coordinated.

I know your needs

A prerequisite for good agreements is knowing your own needs. Career consultant Ragnhild Strauss writes on her blog that anyone who worries too much about juggling a child with a career can act on their own expectations.

The question is not whether you can still evolve in the future, but how. The counselor emphasizes that even in the new role and job, parents are a valuable resource in working life, particularly through newly acquired knowledge and skills.

It is important to plan enough flexibility with the employer so that return plans can also be adjusted later. Your own ideas about a career or career may change again once the child makes up for everyday life.

Whatever plans you ultimately decide on: If possible, you should try to stay in touch with the company during parental leave, Karina Hauer advises: “Visit summer festivals, take part in a Christmas party, and maybe meet colleagues at lunchtime and they Generally an interested signal.”

Parental leave is still a women’s issue

Karina Hauer finds it unfortunate that parental leave is still often considered an issue for expectant mothers. The number of men receiving parental allowance rose 2.1 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year, the Federal Statistical Office reported. In 2021, the proportion of fathers receiving parental allowance was only 25.3 percent (2020: 24.8 percent).

In the majority, fathers only take the smaller portion: while women received parental allowance an average of 14.6 months in 2021, it was 3.7 months for men. According to the Federal Statistical Office, this distribution has remained practically constant in recent years.

Karina Hauer also noted this in her counseling. She suspects that traditional models still prevail. In addition, men usually still get better salaries, so the financial aspects can also be the reason for these decisions.

BMFSFJ: Handbook

Family portal: apply for parental leave

Bremen Staff Chamber: Online event on paternity leave

Blog post Ragnhild Struss

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220425-99-39172 / 3

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