FAQ: Covid-19 & Reconciliation

Reconciling work and family life continues to be a great challenge that can be unsettling and can raise many questions. That is why the Equal Opportunities Bureau (BfC) has compiled some FAQs to support you in reconciling work and family life even during basic operations. You can still contact us at the Equal Opportunities Bureau as usual for the full range of advisory services.

When am I allowed to claim leave from work to provide care for my children and family members? (Update 25/05/2021)

Update 25.05.2021

Entitlement to 34 days off work (for a 5-day week) arises anew at the beginning of 28.03.2021. There is no possibility to carry over days from the old grant period.

Parents can claim leave from work, if

  • school or company holidays are mandated or extended due to infection protection.
  • the school lifts compulsory attendance.

If parents have to provide care to children under 12 years of age, they can claim 34 days of paid leave and up to 16 days of unpaid leave if childcare facilities such as schools and daycare centres are closed due to the coronavirus. Closures during the summer holidays and public holidays do not count. Single parents can obtain a paid exemption from work for up to 67 days.

If you have to provide care for close family members in need of care and care facilities are closed due to the coronavirus, you can claim up to 20 days of paid leave.

Furthermore, alternative care arrangements, for example provided by other family members, must have been ruled out.
For the first 34 days, 100% of the loss of earnings is reimbursed. As the additional 16 days are not compensated, the total possible reimbursement amounts to 67%, up to a maximum of 2016 euros per month.
The time limit of the regulations has been adjusted again.

Time off for the purposes of childcare is now possible as long as a pandemic situation continues. There is no longer a limited end date.

Time off for the purpose of caring for family members is possible for a limited period until June 30, 2021.


  • Due to occupational or personal issues employees can't make use of ad hoc teleworking.
  • Any overtime hours must be reduced to half a day before the leave from work can be granted.
  • Supporting documentation, clearly indicating the closure time or quarantine, must be attached to the application.

Employees’ annual leave accounts do not play a role in this context, as they are intended for recreation.

Additional "child-sick days" possible from January 2022
Where can I find support services for childcare at home?
In order to further relieve the financial burden on families, the federal government is striving for additional measures
Corona and children - What if my child needs to stay at home? (Time off work in case of quarantine of children)
Can I as a senior employee approve paid leave from work for an employee, even when there is the option of ad hoc teleworking?
Can I also apply for one day of leave at a time?
Can I claim for loss of earnings?
Am I entitled to emergency childcare?
Who at Forschungszentrum Jülich decides whether an employee’s job counts as essential work?
Can I as an employee of Forschungszentrum Jülich get temporary emergency childcare from the Kleine Füchse daycare centre?
I am currently working more (or less) than I normally do. Does this change in my average working hours affect my parental allowance?
Are there rules adapted to the pandemic regarding support for providing care to family members?
Can I claim leave from work during the holidays for schools and daycare centres?
Single parent or shared custody?
Summary of the currently valid circulars regarding the regulations on reconciling work and family life in North Rhine-Westphalia
Last Modified: 31.05.2022