Kindergarten on strike: rights of working parents

Where to go with the child when the daycare goes on strike?

says: “Unfortunately, the daycare will be closed tomorrow due to strikes.” How can replacement care be organized quickly? We will inform you here about your rights, obligations and options if your child’s daycare center goes on strike.
Important: Inform your boss as soon as possible and never stay away from work without excuse. This could result in a warning. Mostly there is a solution that is practical for both sides. Perhaps you can do the most important tasks from home. Or take your child to work for a few hours. Or you take turns with your partner and everyone takes care of the children for a few hours.
Don’t forget: The other parents are no different in this situation: ask friends who are friends and the parents of friends of your child whether you can do emergency care together. Perhaps one parent can easily stay at home and take care of two or three other children. Or a mom takes over the morning – and is replaced by another parent in the afternoon. And often the simplest solution is the best: You take a day off – and do something nice with your child.
By the way: In some cities and municipalities, emergency care is sometimes organized. Inquiries cost nothing!

Rights and duties when kindergarten goes on strike

1. The employer must release parents from work?

The legal regulation is: An employee is entitled to continued payment of wages by his employer in accordance with Section 616 of the Civil Code if he is “prevented for a relatively insignificant time by a personal reason without being at fault for the service”, in plain text: can’t work.

does not have to release parents from work, not even unpaid. But labor lawyers still give the all-clear: If there is no alternative accommodation option, this is an important reason to stay away from work on that day. A warning or termination need not be feared.
Probably the fairest solution is to request a day off from your boss. And maybe your boss will close both eyes and grant them an unpaid leave for that day.
2. May I take my child to the office?

There is no legal regulation for this – but just ask your boss if you are not allowed to take your child to work for one day. Of course, this only works if you work in the office, your child is not at risk and the colleagues are not disturbed.

3. Duty to work versus duty to supervise
If, despite all your efforts, you cannot organize childcare for your child and it is not possible to take your child with you to work, you are forced to stay at home. Otherwise you would violate your duty to supervise.
4. Kindergarten fees must be reimbursed on a pro rata basis?

There is no entitlement to reimbursement of fees for the kindergarten. For the operators of the facilities, this is practically “force majeure”, especially since strikes are permitted by the Basic Law. If there is a cost for a babysitter or childminder, parents must pay for it themselves.
5. I face termination?

As a rule, you cannot be given notice of termination – in case of doubt, however, you must prove that you have tried to find alternative accommodation for your child. The best solution is, of course, to agree with the employer and avoid disputes.


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Christina Cherry
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