Family Service

Parental leave (Elternzeit)


Parental leave is a leave period for parents to take care of their child themselves. While on leave no salary is paid (except if parents continue to work part-time). Employees should check wether they can apply for  Parental Allowance or not.

Who can take parental leave?

Employees who have a valid work contract can take parental leave. This is also applicable for parents working on a fixed term contract or parents who have a so called "HiWi-Stelle".

Notifying the employer and deadlines

Parents who want to take parental leave have to inform their personal supervisor and the HR Department in writing.

It is not necessary to apply for parental leave, since employees have a legal right to take parental leave, but the employer has to be informed 7 weeks in advance (13 weeks, when period of leave is after the child's third birthday).

To notify Kiel University you can use this form (bilingual)  Notification of parental leave

Possible duration of parental leave

The maximum period is 3 years per child. These 36 months can be individually spaced within the first 8 years of the child's life, with 24 months possibly available after the child's third birthday. Parental leave can be split in three sections. Every additional phase has to be approved by the employer. Besides single months, that can be connected to leave periods, parental leave can also be taken for single weeks or days.

Employees have to officially state their parental leave for the first two years of the child's life. Afterwards, an alteration of the months taken in this period of time is only possible with the approvement of the employer.

Both parents can take parental leave individually. If they wish, they can be on parental leave parallel to each other.

If parents are eligible for parental allowance, which is paid by months of the child's life, they should take parental leave parallel for months of the child's life and not for calendar months (e.g. if the child's birthdate is 15.01.2019, the parental allowance for the first month of the childs life is paid from January 15 to February 14, 2019).

If you cannot put down an exact date when to begin your parental leave, because your child is not born yet, you write "beginning with birth", "following maternal leave" or "life-months 4-8 of the child".

Impact on the current work

During parental leave the employment exists in the same way as before and is simply paused for the duration of the leave. Any other commitments at the university rest during a 100% parental leave just as well.

No salary is paid by Kiel University during parental leave, except if working part-time. During the leave period most parents apply for Parental Allowance.

For each full month while on 100% parental leave, the yearly vacation days are cut by 1/12. Vacation days, that could not be taken before the parental leave period, will not expire and can be used later on.

Part-time work while on parental leave

It is possible to work part-time between 9 and 30 hours per week while on parental leave.

Dismissal protection during parental leave

Parents are protected against dismissal while they are on parental leave. This also applies if they work part-time for the same employer while taking parental leave. If employees are splitting their parental leave into several phases, they are protected during each of these phases but not inbetween.

Health insurance and parental leave

Changes in your health insurance status may occur when taking parental leave. Please check with your health insurance beforehand.

Detailed Information

You can find detailed information in the federal brochure Parental Allowance, Parental Allowance Plus and Parental Leave

The Government provides further information in German: allgemeine Informationen zum Thema Elternzeit.


Contact for further questions

Bettina Bolterauer, Phone: +49 (0)431 880 2019
Celine Pump, Phone: +49 (0)431 880 5221
Fax: +49 (0)431 880 1751
Visiting address: Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4, 24118 Kiel, room: 1411
Postal address: Christian-Abrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Familien-Service, Olshausenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel