Work-life balance: Minister plans improvements

Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) wants single parents to be better off in tax terms. In addition, parents should be entitled to a two-week paid leave of absence for their partner immediately after the birth. “We will improve the situation of single parents, for example with taxes. We will give parents better support from the outset in their partnership-based compatibility of family and work,” the minister told the Berliner Zeitung.

The Berliner Zeitung currently describes the current dissatisfaction and impatience of young parents in the series “Family and Job – the Biggest Lies”. Lisa Paus wants to change the status quo: “We are investing in more quality in childcare and early childhood education. As the federal government, we have set ourselves the goal of making good progress in family policy and equality.”

With a paid leave of two weeks for partners after the birth, it should be made easier for fathers in particular to interrupt their employment in order to devote themselves fully to their family after the birth.

In the case of parental allowance, it is planned to increase the partner months by at least one month in order to strengthen the partnership compatibility. These reserved partner months, which expire if they are not used, are also aimed at encouraging fathers to get involved. In addition, the special protection against dismissal during parental leave will be extended by three months, it said, in order to secure the return to work. That takes the pressure off families, a spokeswoman said.

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs describes the further development of the quality of child day care as a central concern. The corona pandemic has shown how important good and reliable day care is for children and their families. The Gute-Kita-Gesetz is to be continued on the basis of monitoring and evaluation and, by the end of the legislative period, transferred together with the federal states into a quality development law with nationwide standards. Voting is currently underway within the federal government.

Strong role of family policy

An 84-page study on family life and family policy in East and West Germany has just been completed in Lisa Paus’ house. This study is available exclusively to the Berliner Zeitung. It examines the different family policies in East and West and their consequences to this day.

This paper makes it clear to what extent family policy sets framework conditions and how great the effect is on the compatibility of family and work. The immense influence subsequently extends to role models and social change. This study clearly shows that.

The study describes excellent and inexpensive childcare as well as family-friendly working conditions as the key to success. And there is another important finding: Differences remain in the employment of East and West German mothers. East German mothers are more likely to return to work after having a child, and they are more likely to work full-time. The proportion of couples who say they share housework and childcare equally is higher in the east than in the west. Which is beneficial.

Lisa Paus: “There is still a lot to do for this government”

Federal Family Minister Lisa Paus draws conclusions for her work. “The study shows that the compatibility of family and work was handled very differently in East and West. While the family model with a male breadwinner and a housewife dominated in the Federal Republic, in the former GDR the employment of women and mothers was considered a social norm and was politically encouraged,” she told the Berliner Zeitung.

But today we also know that the compatibility of family and career affects both parents. “Many fathers now take at least two months parental leave, and mothers have the opportunity to return to their jobs after the birth of their children – both are socially accepted. Women can be financially independent. But there is still a lot to do for this government,” said Paus.

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