Home office, lockdown, child-rearing: rights and obligations of working parents
Hold an online meeting in the home office while the children have questions about school material in the background. Quickly prepare something to eat during the lunch break before the next appointment is due - many working parents are faced with the great challenge of balancing home office, home schooling and the children's needs for attention and entertainment. At the latest when a child falls ill, the chaos is perfect and many ask the question: Do working parents actually have special rights and obligations during Corona? We want to take a closer look.
Is there a general right to work from home for employees with children?
Corona has shown: In many industries - for example in nursing or retail - being at the workplace is a job-related requirement. Other professional fields have it easier: Office jobs in particular are often easy to do from home. Nevertheless, there is still no right to work from home. In the best case, appropriate regulations or special rights have been laid down in your employment contract. Otherwise, the following applies: Those who cannot go to work because they have to look after children at home are allowed to do so, but are then also not entitled to a salary for the days that the employee does not appear at work.
Can working parents take their children to work during Corona?
The following also applies to taking children to work: This is only possible with the consent of your employer. The reason for this is obvious: many jobs would simply be too dangerous for small children, and any accidents would not be covered by insurance. The boss decides here whether and how often you can take your child to work. However, we would advise against exposing yourself and your child to a possible risk of infection if it is not absolutely necessary.
What are working parents entitled to child sickness benefit?
There is good news on the subject of children's sickness benefit: retroactively to January 5th, 2021, the entitlement to 20 days per child and parent has been increased, single parents are entitled to 40 days of child sickness benefit per child. If there are several children, the entitlement increases to a maximum of 45 days per parent, or 90 days for single parents. Incidentally, this applies not only in the event that the children are sick, but also when, for example, there is no compulsory attendance in class, i.e. the children are taught in home schooling or the daycare center was closed due to Corona. At the moment, however, this rule only applies until December 31, 2021.
Can employees apply for special leave to look after the children during Corona?
Parents who have no other reasonable care option can apply for special Corona leave. Specifically, this means for you: If both parents are fully employed and the job does not allow you to work from home, you are theoretically entitled to this special leave regulation. Please note, however, that you will then only receive 67 percent of your net salary and that each parent is entitled to this special leave for a maximum of ten weeks. Otherwise, in case of doubt, you only have to sacrifice your annual vacation in order to be able to support your children during this extraordinary phase.
The golden way: talk to the employer and find solutions
Regardless of your rights and obligations as an employee with children, we always recommend that you work with your employee to find a solution to your individual problem during the corona pandemic. After all, special times also require special measures and usually honest questions and a description of the situation also lead to positive answers. After all, it is now all the more important that we as a society show solidarity in order to soon get our everyday life back on track. If your employer is the kind of boss who enables you to work from home and take care of children at the same time, then all that's missing is the perfect set-up for your home office. We have something for you: Take a look at our online shop….
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