What are some parental leave hacks

8 tricks you can use to get more out of your application for parental allowance

Put simply: The parental allowance is based on the average net salary that you have in the 12 months before the child is born earned and is mostly between 65 and 67 percent of previous income. All applicants receive at least 300 euroseven if they haven't worked before. The more you earn before the birth, the higher the parental allowance that will be paid to you after the birth - more than that Maximum amount of 1,800 euros there is no such thing, however. You can find out how much parental allowance you are entitled to in our article "Parental allowance - amount of payment?"

New regulations for parental allowance from 2013

For parents who are expecting children from January 1, 2013, there are some new regulations for parental allowance. The basic principle - the percentage of adjusted net income - does not change. But the calculation method used by the authorities now works a little differently. Was before the net wage after actual If social security contributions, taxes and other deductions (e.g. church tax) are relevant, the average gross wage is the starting point in 2013. Of it flat rate of 21 percent deducted for social security contributions, as well as wage tax, church tax, etc. and based on this, the replacement rate is determined. In this way, applications should be processed much more easily and quickly. However, the new regulation also has some disadvantages. You can find out more about this in our article "Parental Allowance - Calculation by Authorities"

Whether in advance, when applying for parental allowance yourself or during the period in which you are receiving parental allowance - our tips should help you to use the parental allowance optimally for you and your family.

Fill out the parental allowance application: You should consider this beforehand

The “adjusted” net income counts for the amount of the parental allowance. With the following tips you can easily top up your net income and in this way increase the monthly parental allowance amounts. Do not forget that the parental allowance office takes your income from 12 months taken into account before the birth in order to calculate the parental allowance. It is therefore important that you implement our tips early on if you want to benefit from them.

1) Change tax class

Married couples can be assessed together for tax purposes and have different options when combining the tax classes. In the case of parental allowance, it may be worthwhile to change the tax class. The parent who mainly wants to receive parental allowance switches to the cheaper one Tax class IIIso that less tax is deducted from his salary at the end of the month. A higher net wage increases the parental allowance. In return, however, the spouse must be assessed in the less favorable tax class V.
Here, too, a new regulation applies for 2013: The favorable tax bracket is only taken into account by the parental allowance office if it predominates in the 12 months prior to the birth of the child or if it became effective at half-time. This means that you have to initiate the change at least seven months before the birth. Why? The new tax bracket only becomes valid in the following month and then exists for six months until the birth. If you miss the change, you have to expect higher income tax and correspondingly less parental allowance.

2) Distribute one-off payments:

When calculating the parental allowance, the parental allowance office takes a very close look at the income indicated. One-off payments, such as Christmas bonuses or salary bonuses, are not taken into account by the authorities and therefore cannot increase the parental allowance. Before you apply for parental allowance, discuss with your employer whether such one-off payments can be distributed over the regular salary. In this way, they are included in the parental allowance calculation.

3) Company pension scheme

Contributions that may be paid for a company pension are also excluded from the parental allowance calculation. Think about whether it is worthwhile for you to suspend this additional payment twelve months before the child is born.

Fill out the parental allowance application

When the preparations have been completed and the expected due date is approaching, it is time to take care of the application yourself:

4) Parental allowance and parental leave

Parental allowance and parental leave do not necessarily have to be claimed in the same period. However, you are only entitled to parental allowance if you reduce your working hours to a maximum of 30 hours per week. It therefore makes sense to use parental leave and parental allowance in the same period. It is important that the parental allowance after Months of life of the child is paid. So if your child is born on May 13th, the period up to June 12th is the first month in which you could receive parental allowance. Since parental leave has to be registered with the employer seven weeks in advance, it takes a little planning to optimally coordinate parental allowance and parental leave.

5) partner months

Parents can claim parental allowance in the first 14 months of their baby's life. Anyone who wants to receive parental allowance for the full 14 months of life must either be a single parent and have sole custody, or plan the so-called partner months. A parent can apply for a maximum of 12 months parental allowance - the remaining two months are reserved for the partner. This is intended to involve fathers in particular more closely in childcare.

But beware: Partner months must, like parental leave, seven weeks beforehand can be requested from the employer. Even if many employers take a relaxed look at the partner months, there are sometimes still nasty surprises. If you tell your boss about parental allowance and parental leave at an early stage, you may risk being fired. From a purely legal point of view, no notice of termination may be given due to parental allowance and parental leave, but the Protection against dismissal only occurs eight weeks in advance a. So there is only one week left in which fathers benefit from dismissal protection and can register the partner months with the boss in good time.

6) Siblings and multiples

If you give birth to twins or triplets, the parental allowance increases by per multiple 300 Euro. You may also get a little more parental allowance with siblings. With the so-called sibling bonus the parental allowance increases by ten percent - but at least by 75 euros. You are entitled to the sibling bonus if the sibling is not older than three years. If there are more than one sibling, at least two children must be younger than six years of age to be able to use the sibling bonus.

And after applying for parental allowance?

If most of the administrative procedures have been completed and the application for parental allowance has been approved, you can finally devote yourself fully to the new family member. Perhaps you have not completely withdrawn from your profession or would like to earn something in a part-time job? Then we have a little tip for you:

7) Part-time work

While you are receiving parental allowance, a part-time job or part-time work is not a problem, as long as you do the maximum 30 hours a week working. This hourly limit is extrapolated to the month. If you are self-employed or your employer agrees with very flexible working hours, you can distribute 120 hours per month individually over the weeks.

All the regulations relating to parental allowance are not so easy to understand. The best tip we can give you:

8) Keep a cool head

Don't let yourself get mad and take your time to gather information. Because only well-informed do you know what you are entitled to and what claims you can make to the authorities when applying for parental allowance. If you have specific questions, it is best to seek help from the local parental allowance office or call 115 - the new telephone number for the authorities. We also offer you a lot of helpful information about parental allowance and parental leave.