Caregiver leave and family caregiver leave - Promoting individual solutions

The demographic development with an increasing number of people in need of care and the simultaneous shortage of skilled workers represent a challenge for society as a whole, which is increasingly moving the compatibility of care and work into the focus of company personnel policy.

The challenges of caring for a close relative are manifold, often variable and differ considerably from situation to situation. For this reason, there are a wide variety of solutions in practice to make the reconciliation of care and gainful employment a success. Employers and affected employees, just like employers and works councils or trade unions and employers' associations, have developed numerous solutions that take account of company-specific circumstances on the one hand and the needs of caring employees on the other. For as different as the demands of caregiving on employees are, as different are the forms of assistance that the respective employer is in a position to provide. Despite the legal regulations in force since 2015, the vast majority of solutions are therefore found through individual cooperation on site. These are good ways.
Family Caregiver Leave
Since 1 January 2015, there has been a legal entitlement to family care leave for the care of a close relative in need of care in a domestic environment. Family care leave can be taken for a maximum of 24 months. During the family care period, a part-time job of at least 15 hours a week must be performed. The entitlement to family care leave does not apply to employers with 25 or fewer employees as a rule.
Care time
In addition, there is an entitlement to care leave. Employees can claim care leave for up to six months to care for a close relative in their home environment. They can request a full leave of absence or a partial leave of absence by reducing their working hours. If a reduction in working time is claimed, the employer may object to the reduction and distribution of working time on the grounds of urgent operational reasons. The notice period is usually only ten working days; only if care leave is taken immediately after family care leave is the notice period eight weeks. The entitlement to care leave does not apply to employers with 15 or fewer employees. In this respect, the threshold differs from that for family care leave. From the twelfth week before the start of and during a family care leave or a care leave, there is special protection against dismissal for employees.
End of life care
There is also an entitlement to time off for end-of-life care in cases where the close relative suffers from an incurable disease which has already reached an advanced stage, for which palliative medical treatment is necessary and which can only be expected to result in a limited life expectancy of weeks or a few months. End-of-life care can be claimed for a maximum period of three months.
Short-term work prevention
In the event of an acute care situation, the employee may be absent from work for up to ten working days, e.g. to organise care that has become necessary.
The entitlement to time off is flanked by an interest-free loan that the employee can obtain from the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks. For this purpose, the employer must provide a certificate of the scope of work and the remuneration prior to the leave of absence. In the event of a short-term absence from work, there is a claim for so-called care support allowance against the care insurance fund of the person to be cared for. The claim is only subordinate insofar as there is no claim to continued payment of remuneration against the employer from § 616 BGB.
Nursing Advisory Board
Since 2015, the Care Advisory Council has been dealing with general and specific issues relating to the compatibility of care and work (Section 14 FPfZG) as a non-public specialist body. It accompanies the implementation of the relevant legal regulations, such as the Nursing Care Leave Act and the Family Care Leave Act, and advises the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs on their effects. The BDA is represented on . Every four years, it submits a report to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, the first time in 2019. The BDA had made its position on the resolutions passed in the Advisory Council clear in the form of a minority vote in the first report.