Caring for Family Members

When an acute caregiving situation arises, if not before, employees will need information on the options available to them for combining work with their caregiving responsibilities and on the types of assistance they can utilize. The Equal Opportunities Bureau provides advice on the general framework conditions as well as on support available at Forschungszentrum Jülich.

In addition, Social Counselling provides advice in acute situations and helps employees make decisions in difficult situations. Social Counselling also supports employees during the caregiving period, which can often be long and quite demanding.

Support services

Information Events and Talks

The Equal Opportunities Bureau, together with Social Counselling, organizes series of talks, which may have preventive effects. For this purpose, external experts are invited to Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Caregivers Group
Flexible Working Hours and Place

Caregiver Leave

Caregiver leave allows employees to take time off work or reduce their working hours to care for close relatives in need of care at home.

Further information:
🔎"Wege zur Pflege" portal of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (in German)
📌 Presentation on legal regulations governing caregiver leave (presentation by Marcel Petermann in German, Intranet)

Short-term absence from work:

In an acute care situation, close relatives can take up to 10 days off work without giving notice in order to organize suitable care for a loved one who is in need of care, or to ensure that care is provided during this period.

Requirements and structure:

  • Acute care situation
  • Close relatives in need of care
  • No care grade is necessary, but the employer can demand a medical certificate of need for care
  • Several times (per acute care situation)

To compensate for income lost during this period, a care support allowance is available from the long-term care insurance (Pflegeversicherung) of the relative in need of care.

Care support allowance:

  • Per person in need of care max. 10 days
  • 10 days are divided among the caregivers
  • The application must be made without delay
  • The amount depends on the provisions of child sickness benefit (usually 90% of the lost net salary)
Leave under the Caregiver Leave Act (PflegeZG):
End-of-life caregiving
Leave under the Family Caregiver Leave Act (FPfZG):
Care for close relatives who are minors


In need of care

People are classed as in need of care, it this need is permanent, for at least six months, and with the severity of at least care grade I.

Close relatives within the meaning of the law

(§ 7(3) PflegeZG)

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

  • Grandparents
  • Parents
  • Parents-in-law
  • Stepparents
  • Siblings
  • Spouse/civil partner
  • Partners in a consensual union
  • Spouses/civil partners of siblings
  • Siblings of spouse/civil partner
  • Children
  • Adopted children
  • Foster children
  • Children, adopted children, or foster children of the spouse/civil partner
  • Son/Daughter-in-law
  • Grandchildren



Short-term absence from work

Caregiver leave

End-of-life caregiving

Family caregiver leave

Duration (maximum)

10 days

6 months

3 months

24 months


Several times (per acute care situation)

Once (per close relative)

Once (per close relative)

Once (per close relative)

Notice requirements

Without delay

10 working days

10 working days

8 weeks

Number of employees


15 employees

15 employees

25 employees (excluding trainees)

Care grade

Need for care medically certified


Medical certificate on illness and limited life expectancy


Home care





Financial support

Care support allowance

Interest-free loan

Interest-free loan

Interest-free loan

Transitions caregiver leave/family caregiver leave

It is possible to take another leave of absence under the Family Caregiver Leave Act directly after a leave of absence under the Caregiver Leave Act or vice versa. The various leaves of absence must follow each other directly; no interruptions are possible between the leaves of absence.
Exception: End-of-life caregiving leave can be taken at staggered intervals.

When changing from caregiver leave to family caregiver leave, 3 months notice is required.
When changing from family caregiver leave to caregiver leave, 8 weeks notice is required.

Total duration

The total duration of all leaves of absence under the Caregiver Leave Act and the Family Caregiver Leave Act may not exceed 24 months. End-of-life caregiving leave (maximum 3 months) can be taken in addition to caregiver leave (maximum 6 months).
The short-term absence from work of up to 10 days is not counted towards the 24-month total period.

Number of caregiving periods

If a person in need of care is cared for by different close relatives, they can each make full use of the caregiving periods – even at the same time. E.g. both daughter and son can each claim the total period of 24 months. This can be extended to any number of close relatives of the person in need of care.

Conversely, employees can claim the total duration of 24 months per close relative in need of care. These periods of leaves do not have to follow each other directly. E.g. a son can claim the 24 months’ leave in year w–x to care for his mother and in year y–z for his father.

Offers for executives

More and more heads of organizational units are becoming aware of the importance of caregiving as a topic for many employees. Senior employees are also central in implementing measures that allow caregivers to balance the demands of work and family. The Equal Opportunities Bureau offers advice to senior employees, for instance, by organizing information sessions on the topic of family-friendly corporate policy in day-to-day management, during which senior employees can also discuss their concerns and make suggestions for improvements.
💡 Further information on family-friendly management


Margaretha Wirtz

Referentin für die Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Sorgearbeit Spokesperson for reconciling work and care work

  • Equal Opportunities Bureau (BfC)
Building 04.7 /
Room 315
+49 2461/61-2624

Your human resources manager at Personnel Management, Socoal Counseling (P-M)

Last Modified: 31.05.2022