The fact that German society is ageing in the wake of demographic change has tangible effects: along with the growing number of people in need of long-term care, there is simultaneously a drop in those potentially available to provide the care they need. Relatives of people in need of long-term care are faced with the challenge of reconciling family, care and work, while employers have to weigh their own operational requirements against employees’ care-related responsibilities and needs.
Against this backdrop, the Caregiver Leave Act (Pflegezeitgesetz, or PflegeZG) and the Family Caregiver Leave Act (Familienpflegezeitgesetz, or FPfZG) underwent significant reform and enhancement with the entry into force on 1 January 2015 of the Act to Improve Reconciliation of Family, Care and Work—for example with the introduction of a carer’s grant (Pflegeunterstützungsgeld) and a legal entitlement to family caregiver leave (Familienpflegezeit).
In accordance with the 2015 Act, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) appointed the Independent Advisory Board on Work-Care Reconciliation (Unabhängiger Beirat für die Vereinbarkeit von
Pflege und Beruf). Section 14 (2) of the Family Caregiver Leave Act (FPfZG) sets out the Board’s responsibilities and tasks: the Advisory Board deals with issues concerning work-care reconciliation, monitors implementation of relevant laws and advises on their impact and effects.