Can I step down on maternity leave?

Can I actually? Returning to work after parental leave: You have these rights

Getting back to work after parental leave can raise some legal issues. You are initially entitled to continue working with your employer - but under what conditions exactly? Here you will find important information about your entitlements when you return to work.

If you have problems with your employer, we have your back. >>


Continuing to work after parental leave: does it have to be the old job?

Generally there is a after parental leave Right to continued employment, In the meantime, the contractual obligations have only been suspended. In principle, parents can therefore return to their usual place of work.

In accordance with its right of direction, the employer may also be able to give you one another, equivalent job make available if this does not contradict the provisions in the employment contract. This also applies if your old job no longer exists because it has been restructured internally.

What does "equal job" mean?

  • The job that a parent is assigned after parental leave must not represent a deterioration. For example, he must be professional Qualification correspond and similartasks like the job before parental leave.
  • The new job is allowed not less rewarded be than the previous one.

For example, a clerk can be used again as such after parental leave, but this is also possible in another department. The decisive factor is how tight it is employment contract describes the field of activity.

There may even be one after parental leave Relocation to another company location conceivable if the position there is equivalent and the employment contract does not effectively exclude a transfer. However, employers are encouraged to weigh carefully, especially with young parents, and to justify a transfer in a comprehensible manner. If necessary, the works Council be switched on.


Does any remaining leave expire after parental leave?

You still have a right to Remaining vacation from the time before your parental leave? These vacation days do not expire due to parental leave. You can use it after returning from parental leave - either in the current year or in the following year.

The Vacation entitlement that arises during parental leave, however, the employer may reduce it. You can read more about this in this dispute pilot's guide.


What protection against dismissal do I have after the end of parental leave?

During parental leaveexists in accordance with Section 18 of the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act (BEEG) Termination protection. During this period, termination can only take place in special exceptional cases, for example if the employee has done something that justifies termination without notice. Official approval is also required.

After parental leave in turn, job returnees are treated again with regard to protection against dismissal and notice periods like any other worker In the company - that means: If there is a reason for termination, the employer can also give notice of termination immediately on the first day after parental leave, which will then take effect after the notice period has expired.

And what if the employee wants to quit the job himself before the end of parental leave?

  • At the end of parental leave termination is possible with a notice period of at least three months.
  • Workers already want during parental leave Leaving the company is only possible after a mutual agreement with the employer.


Am I entitled to part-time work after parental leave?

During parental leave employees have the right to work part-time under certain conditions.After parental leave Again, it looks different: if the job was a full-time position before parental leave, there is initially only an entitlement to such a position after parental leave.

However, if the returning parent would prefer to work part-time instead of full-time, then according to ยง 8 Part-Time and Temporary Employment Act (TzBfG) only exists under the following framework conditions claim thereon:

  • The company must have more than 15 employees.
  • The trial period must be over.
  • There must be no operational reasons that stand in the way of reducing working hours.

If these requirements are met, you must at least inform your employernotify three months before your planned return to workthat you want to work part-time after parental leave. If the employer refuses, he must inform you in writing at least one month before the start of work. If he does not do this, the reduction in working hours is deemed to have been agreed.

An alternative to permanent part-time can be the one that has been available since January 2019 Part-time bridge be. She does one under certain conditions Limited part-time work with the right to return to the old number of hours possible. You can read more about bridge part-time work in this dispute pilot's guide.


  • Those who return from parental leave are entitled to an equivalent job - but not to exactly the same job as before the parental leave.
  • Entitlements to remaining leave that arose before parental leave are retained.
  • The special protection against dismissal that applies during parental leave ceases to apply immediately at the end of parental leave.
  • If you worked full-time before parental leave, you are only entitled to part-time work under certain circumstances.

Please also read our legal information on the content.