Only recently, the Minister of Family Affairs announced that improvements and optimisations in the parental allowance law are currently being worked out in the Ministry of Family Affairs. In this article you will find 7 suggestions for improvement from us.
First of all, it should be said that, for reasons of financial viability, we certainly cannot implement some of the points, since parental allowance, as it is today, already consumes a great deal of federal funding. Therefore, we have deliberately drawn up our suggestions for improvement independently of the question of financing and have nevertheless ensured that the suggestions are not " pretentious".
1) More staff in the parental allowance offices
The most urgent aspect is the remuneration of the parental allowance agents. Very often one hears and reads it: The processing time for the parental allowance is too long and the advice too short (if any takes place). The telephone accessibility is in many places more than poor. The conditions are partly already so blatant that, for example, in Bremen, the state-owned development bank pays an interest-free bridging loan for interim financing to parental allowance. In addition, one reads of job evaluations in the parental allowance centers, in which the "normal" entry specialist is grouped into a fee group 7 of the TVöD and a subject area management even "only" in a fee group 9b. Not to mention a general staff shortage due to a lack of staffing or general job cuts.
The fact that such situations create frustration among the editors can not be blamed in our opinion. The processing in the BEEG is by no means easy. The wealth of directives, orders, circulars and judgments is relatively high.
All the more we are working to reward the parental allowance officers. Higher groupings or general job allowances are one way, but in our opinion the administration will not be able to avoid general job increases.
The bottom line is that everyone has something here. Parents would be happier, editors would be happier (keyword: health statistics) and parental allowance would become even more popular.
2) Consideration of other and non-recurring payments to employees
It is an injustice that is second to none. One-time payments and other payments to employees are not taken into account for the calculation of the parental allowance. Countless lawsuits were dismissed; usually by pointing out that "by ignoring these types of wages, the legislature's wide scope for social allowances is not exceeded illegally."
Hundreds of euros of parental allowance lose employees - and that's simply because your labor or collective agreement provides for one-time payments in annual salary. No argument of the administration or the courts can finally convince us, as long as self-employed, businessmen and farmers and foresters "counts" every revenue. For these parents, no check is made as to whether the proceeds came from a main, auxiliary or ancillary business.
Our demand therefore:
The full consideration of taxable wage types for parental allowances without exception.
Exact audit of the distribution of income for self-employed and corresponding disregard of revenues from ancillary businesses.
Our clear favorite, however, is the first demand.
3) extension of the exclusion facts and introduction of a favorable test for all
We are in favor of expanding the exclusion facts. In addition to the existing ones, at least the following times should be excluded:
Calendar months in which the applicant,
- Unemployment allowance I or II,
- Sickness or sickness allowance or children's sickness or child sickness days allowance or
- Insolvency money
refer, are able to exclude,
The existing exclusion clause regarding the allowance of parents with older siblings should be canceled and read as follows:
Calendar months in which the applicant was on parental leave because of an older sibling, are generally excluded and without time limit.
In addition, there should be a general right to choose among the exclusion facts (analogous to the postponement of self-employed persons), which would make favorable examinations possible again for employees.
In order not to exaggerate the exclusion, however, we suggest that a maximum of until January of the 5th year before the birth year may be excluded (exceptions for hardship should be possible, for example, if more than three older siblings are present) and the assessment period can not be divided into more than three sections (hardship exceptions also possible).
This proposal would bring a significant relief for the parents and parents in difficult "blows of fate" would not be unreasonably "punish" the parental allowance.
4) Increase in the minimum and maximum amounts, at least by the rate of inflation since 2007
The parental allowance minimum and maximum amounts have not been adjusted since 2007. We are therefore committed to adjusting these amounts.
Minimum amount: 400, - EUR
Maximum amount 2.200, - EUR
Sibling bonus: 100, - EUR
Multiple supplement: 400, -
If you take into account the inflation rate since 2007, the amounts would have risen by 15.7% as follows:
Minimum amount: 347,10 EUR
Maximum amount: 2,082.60 EUR
Sibling bonus: 86.78 EUR
Multiple supplement: 347,10 EUR
Increasing parental allowance would make it significantly more attractive, as in 2018 alone, 14.5% of parental allowance recipients allowanceed from the increase. The number of unreported cases of the parents, who did not apply for the current maximum amount, would even be added here.
We recommend a general anchoring in the Parental Allowance Act of automatic parental allowance increases in line with the inflation rate.
5) Flexibility of the partnership bonus months and consideration as a separate reference
Basically we think the partnership bonus months are a good idea.
However, the current implementation is too narrow, unattractive and too risky. Therefore, we support the following proposal:
- Reduction of the minimum working time from 25 to 20 hours per week
- Increasing the maximum working time to 32 hours per week (Parental leave law should be adjusted accordingly)
- At least two parallel instead of mandatory four months
- At most six parallel instead of mandatory four months
- Introduction of hardship rules (eg: if working hours have been undercut because of long illness, should not be "punished", but the parent should "only" receive the minimum amount)
- Use at any time within the first three years of the child, regardless of the other parent's allowance
At the same time, we are committed to ensuring that the partnership bonus months become an independent reference alongside basic basic allowances and the Parental allowance Plus. There are two reasons for this:
a) No reduction of Parental allowance Plus based on income during the partnership bonus months.
At present, earnings earned during the partnership bonus months are credited proportionately to any parental allowance allowance months that may have been used in the past. This provision is even expressly provided for in the BEEG guidelines.
This can be unjustifiably expensive for parents
The mother applies for basic parental allowance for the months 1-6 and Parental allowance Plus for the months 7 to 18. During these Parental Allowance Plus months she was on parental leave (with part-time employment of eg 12 lessons per week). Now, together with her partner, she decided to claim the bonus months in the months 19 to 22 and is working for 30 hours a week.
Suppose your prenatal parental allowance net is $ 1,800; her parental allowance net during months 7 to 18 amounts to 560, - EUR and during the partnership bonus month 2,100, - EUR (has found a new employer with better conditions, who employs her part-time).
Your Maximum Parental allowance Amount is exactly € 585 per month of life. Due to the income during the partnership bonus, however, her Parental allowance Plus and Parental allowance during the Partner Bonus Month are only 150, - EUR, because the income in the months 19 to 22 over the period of the months 7 to 22, distributed, is counted. As a result, she "only" received a parental allowance of € 2,400 and is de facto "punished" for finding a better job.
If the partnership bonus months were a separate reference, their total allowance from the months of life would be 7 to 22 = € 7,620, for a total of € 5,220.
For this example, however, it should be noted that with an inverse constellation this disadvantage can become an advantage:
Let's assume that her prenatal parental allowance net amounts to 2,770.- EUR; her parental allowance net during months 7 to 18 is 840, - EUR (about 12 hours per week) and during the partnership bonus month 2,100, - EUR (about 30 hours per week).
Your Maximum Parental allowance Amount is exactly 900, - EUR per month of life. Due to the income during the partnership bonus, her parental allowance plus parental allowance during the partnership bonus month is even unrestricted 900, - EUR, because the income in the months of 19 to 22 over the period of the months 7 to 22 distributed, is counted. As a result, she received a parental allowance totaling EUR 14,400 and was able to make the most of the system for herself.
If the partner bonus months were a separate reference, their total allowance from the months of life would be 7 to 22 = 11,400, - EUR, ie a total of 3,000, - EUR less.
b) It would be easier to adjust the minimum amount
Due to the "high" working time requirements of the partnership bonus months, the parental allowance is often reduced to the minimum amount due to the additional income. This is currently 150, - EUR and is therefore not lucrative for many parents in view of the bureaucratic burden.
We are working to increase the minimum amount to € 250, in return the maximum amount may be reduced to € 800.
This legal restructuring is best implemented if the partnership bonus months were a separate reference.
6) Reimbursement of Parental allowance Plus
Parental allowance Plus is a very good idea. Due to the fact that the claim can not lead to a higher parental allowance compared to the "pure" basic parental allowance, we are working to ensure that Parental allowance Plus can be applied for longer.
For example, this can be done as follows:
Who applies for at least four Parental allowance Plus months, will receive four additional Parental allowance Plus months in addition to his basic entitlement and next to the partner bonus months.
There are certainly other solutions that seem to us to be a good solution. An increase in the minimum amount to make Parental allowance Plus more attractive could also be considered.
7) More digitization / public API for programs outside of own programs
Many federal states and also the federation itself are already so far that Parental allowance applications no more by hand or by PDF must be filled on the computer, but digital application assistants make available. Various measures are underway to advance these procedures, which we very much welcome.
Nevertheless, there is still a lot of catching up to do when it comes to digitization. The fact that some of the applications still have to be printed out and documents which are already available to other authorities and are also fed into their electronic files must also be submitted to the parental allowances office, bureaucratizing the entire process enormously. Parents who give explicit consent should allowance from the technological advances of today's age. In addition, the parental allowance offices would also be relieved.
We would like to see in perspective that the parents' funds should offer a freely accessible interface, so that third party providers (like our parental allowance software) can send application data to the editors paperlessly and electronically based on the example of ElSTEr and various tax assistance programs. Everyone would allowance from it, parents and the administration alike. Not to mention the environment.
Parental allowance is already complicated already. But it is also one of the most important family allowances in the Federal Republic of Germany. That may be a bit complicated and explicitly regulated. Nevertheless, parents may not be overwhelmed and "left alone" when applying. In particular, the legislator should work hard to support the Parental Allowance Officen more and develop this exciting "project" Parental allowance.
Our suggestions are intended to make a small contribution to supporting parents in their special life situation even more than before and making the parental allowance a bit "better".
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