Short Term Leave Due to Care Responsibilities


The Home and Institutional Care Act and the Family Care Act are to enable employees to take a limited period off from work or work part-time to take care of relative. The Act differentiates between a short-term leave from work and so-called "care time" (Pflegezeit).

Short Term Leave Due to Care Responsibilities

Short-term leave means that the employee is able to take up to 10 days off to take care for a relative. This option is open to individuals who must care for the relative themselves or need to organize and secure nursing care for the relative in other ways.

Please note that employees on leave due to care responsibilities do not receive their salary during the leave period. However, they can apply for financial support from their care insurance provider or that of the relative cared for. Importantly,the insiurance provider should be contacted prior to applying for a leave so that financial matters are clarified beforehand. The insurance provider will check whether all requirements for care support funding are being met.

Period of Care ("Pflegezeit")

Under the “care period” option, employees may request up to six months of full or partial leave from work to take care of a relative in need who lives in the same household or who, in the case of a minor, may also live away from home. It is also possible to take leave or reduce working hours for a period of up to three months in case that a close relative has reached his or her final phase of life.

Family Care Period

The so-called “family care time” or period of family care ("Familienpflegezeit)", employees are entitled to reduce their working time for a maximum duration of 24 months to care for a relative in need at home or, in the case of a minor, also away from home. Working hours can be reduced down to 15 hours per week, if necessary.

Employees on "family care time" do not receive their full salary, but only a share coprresponding to the number of working hours in this period.

It is possible to apply for an interest-free loan from the Federal Office of Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions, BAFzA for short, to cope with the loss in income. As a rule, the loan may provide up to half the loss in income. For further information, please refer to the BAFzA website on te topic of Familienpflegezeit (de).

During periods of care and the family care period, the employer is not able to cancel the employment contract with the employee on leave or reduced hours.

If you want to apply for one of the above periods of leave due to care responsibilities, please read our instructions on applications for periods of care (de). If you have any questions, please get in touch with the team of the Family Services Center or the RWTH Human Resources Department.


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