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Returning to work after parental leave














Foto: FWTM


In cooperation with the Human Resources Department, a package of different options is offered for your return to work after parental leave or family care leave.

Nowadays, fathers and mothers return from parental leave much more quickly than in the past. However, returning to work has not become easier due to the faster change in legal and technical requirements. In the case of an absence of several years, the challenges are intensified by new work content, up-to-date software or a changed distribution of tasks. The following options can make it easier to return to work:

  • During parental leave, you can work part-time to a small extent or take over a short-term sick leave or vacation replacement. By doing so, you can maintain contact and know about changes at the workplace.
  • After prior consultation, your return to work can also take place in stages, e.g. starting with 25% and then gradually increasing to the agreed working hours. This might be helpful when it comes to the settling-in period in childcare and also enables a good familiarization with perhaps changed working conditions.
  • The person taking over your position during parental leave should be involved in the agreements, as he or she can play an important role upon return.
  • The free offers of the Internal Further and Continuing Education (Interne Weiterbildung - IWB) are also open to parents during parental leave. They can take advantage of the advice and support provided by the relevant departments (superiors, Equal Opportunity Representative, IWB) as part of an independent commitment to further and continuing education.
  • The return interview between superiors and employees plays a central role. It should take place a few months before the end of the parental leave. Topics include the organization of working hours and location (part-time, telework), voctional adjustment or further training, the date of return and other open questions. Superiors at the University of Freiburg receive support in the form of respective brochures, checklists and forms, e.g. the return interview protocol (in German).
  • Counseling sessions can help in dealing with difficult situations, e.g. with the Equal Opportunity Representative, the Staff Council, or colleagues who already have experience with breaks and returning to work afterwards.