Minister moots shorter work week for parents

Minister moots shorter work week for parents
Photo: DPA
Family Minister Kristina Schröder on Friday called for German companies to create more flexible work time models to allow parents better options for juggling career and family.

“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.

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

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