Debate about working hours: Paus defends the right to work part-time

As of: May 15, 2024 4:50 p.m

In view of the debate about longer working hours, Family Minister Paus has rejected a general extension of working hours. Part-time models are an important component in combining family and work.

Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus has vehemently defended the right to part-time work. Most recently, Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) questioned this right, thereby giving new impetus to the debate about longer working hours. “I support the right to part-time work without any ifs and buts,” said Green Party politician Paus about Kretschmer’s statements.

Part-time models offer employees the opportunity to “combine professional and family obligations”. For women in particular, but also for many other people, a part-time job is the only way to take up employment, “especially if they have their own children or are caring for relatives.”

Kretschmer can imagine a “40-hour week for everyone.”

The CDU politician Kretschmer recently questioned the right to part-time work, which has been enshrined in law since 2001, in an interview with the “Handelsblatt”: “It was a mistake that we declared options like part-time from an exception to a legally secured rule. Part-time is the exception, not the rule.” He also advocated a “40-hour week for everyone.”

Paus now criticized anyone who questions the right to part-time work as “ignoring the needs of families”. In order to better combine family and career, she called for more flexibility instead of rigid guidelines in the world of work. This is the only way to increase employment potential. The possibility of returning to work full-time is just as important, so that mothers, for example, do not end up in a “part-time trap”.

Chancellor Scholz: “It has nothing to do with laziness”

In an interview with the magazine “Stern”, Chancellor Olaf Scholz also showed understanding for employees who do not want or cannot work 40 hours a week. This has “nothing to do with laziness.”

According to Scholz, thousands of young men and women desperately try to balance family and work every day. “There is not the same level of all-day care in daycare or primary school everywhere. Others still look after older relatives or do voluntary work,” said the Chancellor.

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