• Germany's news in English

Minister moots shorter work week for parents

DDP/The Local · 21 May 2010, 08:10

Published: 21 May 2010 08:10 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“A 30-hour work week could be almost ideal for both partners,” the conservative Christian Democrat told news magazine Focus. “Forty hours of working time are too much for most parents of small children, but at 20 hours they toss themselves out of their careers.”

In the interview, Schröder presented the new campaign Vollzeitnahe Teilzeitarbeit, or “Nearly full-time part-time work,” which she created in conjunction with the German Chambers of Commerce (DIHK). They aim to encourage communities and businesses to allow parents part-time options to spend more time with their children in the early years.

The part-time variant is attractive for employers and also interesting for fathers, in particular, Schröder told the magazine. She also said that mothers and fathers who work part-time are “often much more efficient than their full-time colleagues work.”

The Family Minister also said workplaces should show "understanding and consideration for the familial obligations of colleagues,” pushing for fathers to demand time for such things as medical check-ups for their children.

Story continues below…

“Employers must learn that every applicant – whether man or woman – will potentially want to care for their family,” she told the magazine.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:53 May 21, 2010 by chimpansi
Thats total crap. I'm sure even then Germans will not reproduce. I have not seen any average German tolerating kids. Even when a kid cries in a tram these droopy faces walk away. 40 hours is longer? Look at Asia & Latin America they work longer and still have babys. Its a problem with attitude you cant fix that with money. Allowing them to work shorter will only make them more lazy. Its a problem of prosperity.
10:02 May 21, 2010 by Gen
See also the current forum discussion on possible reasons for Germans having fewer kids:

13:05 May 21, 2010 by munchau
why not work 20 hours a week
17:52 May 21, 2010 by William Thirteen
why not hire the children on as 'praktikants' - then they can come to the office and do something useful to produce taxable revenue rather than just lounge around at home soiling their doilies!
19:38 May 21, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It seems facially discriminatory against those who don't have children. Why should they have to pick up the slack for those who choose to reproduce?
23:46 May 21, 2010 by derExDeutsche
The Govt. thinks;

1 . Germans, Men and Women, will stay employed full time, making similar money, paying taxes, while raising a young family. SO what if Business picks up the tab?

2. They are having German offspring. Those are pretty cute until they are about 3 years old ;P haha.

Its Social Engineering. Who knows? Maybe its for the best. I just find it crazy how much your Govt. treats Citizens like Livestock.
23:18 May 24, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I say that the German government should do whatever it can to inspire native Germans couples to gave 2 kids each.

At the moment, there are simply too many fundamental problems

in the German lifstyle to achieve this. And yes, it's true, many people don't like kids. A lack of Psychology in German schools is creating serious problems for the nation as a whole.

The introduction of an effective Psychology would change the character of people and a more prosperous nation would be realized.
13:52 May 29, 2010 by bschaefermann
In response the Prufrock: "It seems facially discriminatory against those who don't have children. Why should they have to pick up the slack for those who choose to reproduce?"

It isn't discriminatory (much less "facially" so). Those who have children are providing a community service to which you are responsible for contributing. Unless, you don't care if you have people in your community to wash your car, check out your groceries, cut your hair, diagnose your illnesses, etc. You benefit from other people having children, probably even more-so than the parents themselves, because you get a community built without personally investing the HARD effort that goes into child-rearing. Think about that the next time you take advantage of a service offered by anyone in a younger generation.
23:58 May 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
bschaefermann --

I have nothing against people having children whom they can afford to raise. It requires hard work and some sacrifice in most cases. I have a child whom I raised through hard work and sacrifice. I did not expect some kind of special dispensation because I chose to reproduce, and I did not get one. Nor do I expect to pay for others' reproductive choices now by virtue of taking up the slack while they stay home to nurture their offspring. I can bag my own groceries and wash my own car.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd