A return to work is a return to work after a career break. It does not matter which is the reason for the break and whether about sick pay, unemployment benefit or family allowance was paid during the duration of the break. Thus, a re-entry for example, relate to the period after an illness, an education phase or parental leave, a period of unemployment or a sabbatical.

In contrast, the term women returners that designates a particular eligible group of people, more restrictive, as it requires that a regulatory needy child was looked after ( under 15 years ) or a frail relatives that no later than planned a year after the interruption of a return to work and that the break was not limited to the parental leave.

An early return to work after parental leave is often highlighted as beneficial for companies that employed workers and the economy. He is a reconciliation of family and work ahead, for example, an equal sharing of care responsibilities in the family, a suitable childcare, an appropriate organizational culture on the part of employers and possibly the opportunity to breastfeeding with working to reconcile. A study of the Hesse Foundation in 2008 points to the importance of child care, education and contact with the company during parental leave. According to Directive 96/34/EC (Article 2, paragraph 5) in the European social law following the parental leave is entitled to return to the same job or, if that is not possible, according to equivalent or similar to assigning a their employment contract or employment relationship working. This requirement is implemented partially differing in individual Member States. In practice it is often reported a demotion or subtle exclusion after returning from parental leave. In addition, workers who initially start working part-time again and accept it voluntarily activity in a lower hierarchical levels - for example, because the employer told that only as a part-time work is possible - sometimes later return to the hierarchical level of before the start of part-time work activity carried corresponds denied. This practice is not allowed by the judgment of the Federal Labour Court in Erfurt.

Especially after a long absence from the labor market, for example in a family phase, the professional re-entry is an individual process that can take several years. This process can be described in three phases: the first orientation before they return, the actual return to work and the consolidation of the new situation after the re-entry. Throughout Germany, there is a growing consulting offering that women returners and returners supported and accompanied in the various phases of reentry.

A return to work after a serious illness, such as cancer, often in the form of a medically necessary part-time work ( please refer to disability, Diminished earning capacity ).

The re-entry of artists, pop musicians, politicians and athletes is also called a comeback.


  • Human Resources
  • Labor market

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