What is a working husband

The working father

Meeting professional demands and still being there for the family is a great challenge. Conditions are not always favorable, but there are ways to influence them.

How do we divide the work?

It is not easy to reconcile parenting with professional success and sufficient income in a satisfactory way. Men and women first of all ask themselves how they imagine being a parent: How much time do I want to spend with my child and family? How much housework can and want to do? How important is success in my job to me and how much professional commitment does it take?

Most mothers and fathers want a partnership-based division of labor and often clarify these questions together before or during pregnancy. Because both have their ideas of how they want to combine child, job and household. There are many ways of dividing family and paid work among each other. In practice, however, it often looks like this: Women with minor children usually work significantly less than 40 hours a week. Fathers, on the other hand, often work more than 40 hours a week, not a few even more than 50 hours.

"Ask mom!"

A father who leaves the apartment at seven in the morning and returns after seven in the evening is missing from his children. Perhaps it is also in great demand because they hardly ever see it. But when it comes to where to find the patch for the bruised knee, what the child should wear and where their best friend lives, he may be overwhelmed. “Ask mom!” It says then.

Fathers who concentrate primarily on gainful employment then often try to spend more time with their children on weekends. Nevertheless, their relationship with the children is often less familiar than that of their mothers, because they only know secondhand the joys and drama in everyday life for children.

Anyone who relies on work that generally requires 50 or 60 hours a week outside the home can hardly be an accessible father to their children. Sometimes these fathers later regret that they basically missed their children's first few years.

Fathers on parental leave - everyone benefits

Most fathers nowadays wish not only to be an “after-work dad”, but also to be there for their child in everyday life. This is also evident from the fact that more and more fathers are taking parental leave. Although most of them only take the two partner months to complete, this time is still a win for everyone. Because it gives fathers the chance to spend a lot of time with their child, get to know them better and develop a very special bond with them.

Fathers on parental leave often have a different connection to housework and childcare and acquire skills that are necessary for routine household chores. This is especially true if both parents do not go on parental leave at the same time, but the father really bears the main responsibility at home for some time. Even after parental leave, such fathers are more involved in care and housework than others.

Men often have the higher paying jobs. If the father restricts his gainful employment, the financial losses for the family are therefore often greater than if the woman reduces her working hours. In addition, when men apply for parental leave or want a part-time job, managers are not always enthusiastic. Being a dedicated father can hurt your career. But: This is by no means always the case.

According to the Part-Time and Temporary Employment Act (TzBfG), all employees are entitled to a part-time position if the following requirements are met (Section 8 (1) to (7) TzBfG):

  • The employment relationship has been in existence for more than six months.
  • The company generally employs more than 15 people, regardless of the number of people involved in vocational training.
  • There are no operational reasons against reducing working hours, such as significant impairments to the organization, work processes or safety in the company or disproportionately high costs.
  • The request for a reduction in working hours and their scope must be notified in writing or orally at least three months in advance.

If the father takes care of the household after the birth of a child because the mother is unable to do so for health reasons, the health insurance fund usually reimburses him for part of his loss of earnings. If the mother is insured with a statutory health insurance company, she can apply for domestic help from her insurance company in accordance with Section 38 of the Social Security Code. If such a need is foreseeable before the birth, the application should be submitted in good time.

If the man takes care of the home, the statutory health insurance companies demand that the costs be partially reimbursed

  • a medical certificate stating the need and the scope of care and
  • a certificate of net earnings from the man's employer.

The local office of the health insurance company can provide precise information on the amount and duration of the reimbursement. All the necessary application forms can also be requested there.

Privately insured persons must inquire with their respective insurance company about the possibilities of reimbursement.

Both mothers and fathers have the right to take unpaid leave from work because of a child's illness, provided they have statutory health insurance. The health insurance company pays sick pay during this time. Sick pay is around 75 percent of the net wage. The responsible health insurance company provides more information.

According to § 45 SGB V, this regulation only applies if

  • the child is not yet twelve years old,
  • care is necessary from a medical point of view (certificate),
  • no other person lives in the household who could look after the child.

Under these conditions, both parents can take unpaid leave of absence for each child for up to ten working days per year. Single parents are entitled to 20 days per child. If there are several children, the number of working days to be released is limited to a total of 50 for single parents and 25 for couples.

In addition, according to Section 616 of the German Civil Code (BGB), employees are entitled to continued payment of wages by their employer if they are prevented from going to work for a “relatively insignificant amount of time” for personal reasons (the law states “for a reason inherent in their person without their own Fault"). This is the case, for example, when your own child cannot go to the doctor alone or becomes ill and needs to be cared for.

In the case of a child under eight years of age, a period of five days is considered to be “relatively insignificant time”.

Privately insured persons cannot rely on Section 45 of the Book V of the Social Code. You only have the right to continued payment of wages according to § 616 BGB.

 

Companies are increasingly offering family-friendly working conditions because they have understood that this can also bring them economic benefits. In many cases, the works council or staff council can provide support in matters of parental leave and father-friendly working hours.

Partnership-based division of labor: a model with a promising future

Fathers who work full-time usually have a partner who largely relieves them of everyday life with children and the household. However, fewer and fewer women are willing to do this. In addition, many families are dependent on a second income. The most promising model is therefore: the same career opportunities and the same family skills.

Discuss with your partner what general conditions arise from their respective professional activities and what ideas and wishes you both have regarding the organization of family life after the birth of the child. On this basis, it is then important to find joint solutions for the organization of everyday family life. And remember: Professional requirements and personal wishes can change - that is why new solutions may always be needed.