EU Commission starts proceedings against Germany

paternity leave

Germany has not correctly implemented new EU rules on the compatibility of family and work. 18 other EU countries also received a letter from the Commission on the subject.

(Photo: IMAGO/Panthermedia)

Brussels because Germany new EU rules Work-life balance has not implemented correctly, the European Commission against the Federal Republic. The Brussels authority announced on Wednesday that it would send a letter of formal notice to Germany, thereby initiating so-called infringement proceedings.

The federal government now has two months to respond. The Commission can then decide whether to take further steps. At the end of the process, there could be a lawsuit before the European Court of Justice. 18 other EU countries also received a letter from the Commission on the subject.

Since August 2, the new rules stipulate, among other things, that fathers or the second parent receive paid leave of at least ten days after the birth of a child. However, this requirement was not implemented in Germany.

The Ministry for Family Affairs justified this at the beginning of August by saying that the federal government had negotiated an exception. The existing measures for the compatibility of family and work went far beyond the new EU rules, it said.

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For example, the EU rules stipulate that each parent should be entitled to parental leave for up to four months, at least two of which must be paid for. Germany is more generous here: Employees can take up to three years of parental leave. If both parents share the time, up to 14 months of it can be paid for.

For some organizations, that's not enough. A petition organized by the Dresden Fathers' Center is also calling for ten days of paternity leave in Germany. The government made up of SPD, Greens and FDP has already committed to this in its coalition agreement. "A separate law is to be introduced this year," the Ministry for Family Affairs said in August.

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