Family policy

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Under family policy means the totality of the measures that the government regulating and shaping the framework conditions for families affected. Far mostly is improvement of the conditions and support for families, so of family support is spoken. In a broader sense, family support measures by non-state actors can also be counted as part of family policy (e.g. company family policy).

The definition of “family” in family policy has also followed the change in meaning and values ​​over the last few decades: While family policy historically focused on the model of the traditional family made up of parents with children, family policy today mainly deals with an extended family concept: where there are children ”.

Family policy is treated scientifically in political science , economics and educational science.

Family policy has strong overlaps with women's policy , social policy and population policy .

Family Policy in Germany

There are 156 family policy benefits in Germany. 55.4 billion euros are spent on family-related benefits. The birth rate of 1.39 children per woman is below the OECD average of 1.5 children.

In the 7th Family Report of the Federal Government between family compensation and family tax relief distinguished: "Family policy benefits that are derived from the criterion of needs and living standards, aim to compensate certain strains of the parents caused by the birth and upbringing of children. These instruments can be summarized under the heading of family burden sharing. In addition, it is a further task of state family policy to compensate for the upbringing, care and education of the children that families provide for society, but which are not paid for through the market. These benefits are summarized as family benefits equalization. "

The protection of the family is one of the fundamental rights of the Basic Law . Of Art. 6 GG arise for families both auxiliary and defensive claims against the state.

In the federal German system of government, the federal government is primarily responsible for family policy; this is where the basics are specified (e.g. family law ). Article 6 of the Basic Law also obliges the states and municipalities to place the family under the special protection of the state.

In 2006, an examination of family support was suggested, the results of which were presented in 2013. Accordingly, all 156 family policy benefits should be retained.

The federal states have the option of supplementing the federal policy requirements with their own statutory benefits (e.g. state childcare allowance, family start-up loans). They also decide on the design of implementing laws (e.g. child and youth welfare law). Due to this individual competence of the federal states, the regulations can differ from federal state to federal state. So has z. B. Saxony-Anhalt has a very high coverage with day care centers, but other federal states very little.

The municipalities are also the original sponsors of family policy. Local family policy further differentiates the regulations of the federal states. Cities, counties and municipalities can also set their own priorities.

Requirements of the Federal Constitutional Court

The Federal Constitutional Court continued with the "big four family judgments" as issued by the German Family Association and Family Federation of Catholics are called, since 1990 clear norms on family policy in Germany:

1. Judgment on the tax justice of families

In the “judgment on tax justice” of families of May 29, 1990, the Federal Constitutional Court stated that the maintenance costs of the family's taxable income remain tax-free at least in the amount of the subsistence level and that the state must also ensure that this minimum requirement is covered for all children. This constitutional requirement follows from Article 1, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law in conjunction with the welfare state principle of Article 20, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law.

2. Rubble women judgment

The "rubble women judgment" of July 7, 1992 highlighted the disadvantage of parents of several children compared to childless and child poor people and stipulated that times of child-rearing by the legislature according to Art. 3 Abs. 1 GG in connection with Art. 6 Abs. 1 GG must be taken into account when calculating the pension. The BVerfG emphasized that, in contrast to the reasons that are otherwise responsible for unemployment and thus the failure of contribution payments, bringing up children has an important role in ensuring the survival of the pension system. The legislature was asked to actually reduce the disadvantage of families with every reform step. This should be done in such a way that the legislature bound by the constitutional mandate noticeably relieves the families.

In the judgment of March 12, 1996, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that pension entitlements from child-rearing periods do not become ineffective if pension entitlements are acquired elsewhere at the same time. The value of bringing up children within the meaning of the intergenerational contract is not diminished by simultaneous employment that is subject to compulsory insurance.

3. Judgment on freedom of choice

The “Freedom of Choice Judgment” of November 10, 1998 stated that the existing regulations for single parents should be extended to include married parents; in addition to a childcare allowance, an education allowance must also be granted. Here, too, the state was obliged to ensure this need for all children, for example by increasing child benefit or a comparable benefit. Parents must be able to take care of their children personally as well as agreeing parenting and gainful employment. Deriving from the requirement of Article 6 (1) of the Basic Law, the state has to respect the family community in its independent and self-responsible design. "In addition to the obligation to accept the decisions made by the parents in the service of child welfare and to attach to it no discriminatory legal consequences arising from the duty of protection of Art. 6 1 of the Basic Law. Also the duty of the state child care in each of them to enable and promote the chosen form in its actual conditions. "

4. Long-term care insurance ruling

In the “long-term care insurance ruling” of April 3, 2001, the BVerfG stated that Article 3, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law in conjunction with Article 6, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law does not allow contributors to the statutory long-term care insurance to look after and raise the children are charged with a long-term care insurance contribution that is the same as that of contributors without children. The BVerfG had justified the judgment with the fact that in addition to the amount of money, parents also make a generative contribution to the functionality of the pay-as-you-go social security system. In its ruling, the court found that this is also relevant for other branches of social insurance.

To this day, the German Family Association (DFV) and the Family Association of Catholics (FDK) criticize the fact that the four major family judgments are not properly and legally enforced by politics and that families are disadvantaged as a result.

Family policy at the federal level

Family policy at the state, district and community level

  • "Welcome money" or donations in kind ( payment for each newborn )
  • Kindergartens , crèches and support for child minders
  • Schools and all-day care facilities
  • Public playgrounds, sports facilities
  • Children's holiday promotions
  • Promotion of popular sport

For the care of children, it is important that childcare places are offered on site (depending on the situation of the families, the place of residence or the place of work), also in marginal care times (e.g. for parents who work on shifts) and with care costs that the parents can bear.

Important family policy measures are also barrier-free construction and the promotion of local transport for the disabled . Because what is suitable for a wheelchair user can also be managed with a stroller .

Other aspects

The parties' approaches to family policy differ as well as those of different schools of thought. While conservatives tend to see marriage (or the married couples ) and the children resulting from it as the main goal of the support measures, those willing to reform assume that, in principle, raising children, regardless of the partnership status of the parents, should justify the right to family support.

So is z. B. a yardstick for analyzing family policies, to what extent they promote equal rights of the sexes or rather consolidate existing gender arrangements.

Societies that organize resume decisions as either / or limit individual choices. It is therefore not surprising that Germany is not only one of the countries that have few births and where the wishful thinking regarding family size is at the lowest level in Europe, but also one of the countries where those who support Children have chosen to least desire more than the realized children.

Sometimes it is complained that the family policy measures taken to date have led to a poor social mix of births. The promotion of families should therefore better promote a better work-life balance.

The family policy of the GDR

An important component of family policy in the GDR was the compatibility of family and work ; for women in the GDR it was a matter of course within their biography. For various reasons, the SED state managed to integrate almost 92% of women into the labor sector by 1989. This high female participation rate in the GDR is a clear difference to the comparatively lower participation rate of women in the old Federal Republic. The women in the GDR were faced with the need to reconcile work and family life. The so-called “equality policy” of the GDR had an impact on these individual areas of life for East German women: Effects on the situation of women in the employment sector and on the way of life within families.

Family policy in Austria

The Federal Ministry for Labor, Family and Youth is responsible for family policy in Austria .

According to the OECD, Austria spends 2.6% of its economic output on promoting families. The majority is made as a direct payment; the most important instrument of Austrian family policy is family allowance, which varies according to the number and age of the children.

The Catholic Family Association of Austria is the largest non-party family organization in Austria and, as a political actor, advocates the interests of all families.

Family policy in Switzerland

At the federal level , family policy is part of the FDHA's remit . However, it is mostly implemented at the cantonal level.

Measures in the field of family policy:

A more comprehensive anchoring of family policy in the Federal Constitution than provided by Art. 116 was proposed as a parliamentary initiative in 2007 but was rejected in 2013 by the federal vote on family policy .

Family policy in France

Family policy has a long tradition in France. Family allowances were introduced in the French National Assembly as early as 1898 . In 1940 allocation de mère au foyer was introduced, an allowance for the housewife and mother equal to 10% of the husband's wages. This allowance lasted until 1978.

Charles de Gaulle wrote in his memoir: “Population growth is undoubtedly the most important investment of all.” This priority (originally shaped by the dream of the “Grande Nation”) has gradually turned into an action that is shared by all political parties over a general one Popular consensus. The is marriage in France not a mandatory basis of family policy. All family policy measures are based solely on a maintenance obligation, marriage does not play a role.

The guiding principles of French family policy include freedom of choice for families and fairness of performance (efficiency principle, horizontal tax fairness).

Since 1970 day care centers have been financially supported by the family fund , the caisse d´allocations familiales (CAF). In 1980 the support was expanded to include professional childcare provided by parents.

The chèque emploi service universel is a tax-subsidized means of payment for household and family support services.

The share of the gross national product that was spent overall on cash benefits, services and tax breaks for families (not including expenditure on health, housing and social assistance) was almost 4% in France in 2005 (as of 2005), higher than in all other OECD - States.

Freedom of choice

The freedom of choice includes a very wide range of care facilities including day nurseries , a comprehensive network of free kindergartens and all-day schools, as well as labor law and family policy measures such as maternity leave, birth and adoption leave (also for fathers), family-related relocation bonuses or renovation bonuses and crediting of the parental leave time towards the pension. The childcare allowance is also included in the freedom of choice. In the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court of 10 November 1998 on freedom of choice, the Federal Constitutional Court states that the state must enable and promote childcare in the form chosen by the parents.

France has long had a high female employment rate and the majority of women are in full-time employment with short interruptions due to the birth of children. France, like Germany, has an average female employment rate between 50% and 60% in an OECD comparison, and the French female employment rate is just below the German one (as of 2002).

Fairness of performance

To ensure fair performance, families are supported by an extensive catalog of measures such as:

  • Child benefit ,
  • Family splitting ( quotient familial ),
  • Family allowances,
  • Birth grants ( allocations pré- et postnatales ),
  • School start allowance ( allocation de rentrée scolaire ),
  • Single parent assistance

The French family splitting is based on a family quotient , the quotient familial , which among other things depends on the number of children. As a result, only half of all French households pay wage and income tax at all; From the third child onwards, parents with average incomes are de facto tax-free.

European Union

The European Union has no contractually based competences for a policy specifically aimed at families. In terms of subsidiarity , responsibility here lies entirely with national legislation.

Certain directives have particular effects on national family policy, in particular:

According to the BMFSFJ, common goals of the EU are:


Web links

Wiktionary: Family policy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b Donata Riedel: Desire instead of reality . In: Handelsblatt . No. 117 , June 21, 2013, ISSN  0017-7296 , p. 8 .
  2. ( 7th family report, ( Memento of the original from March 27, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this note. P. 56). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. “In Germany, the provision of additional family infrastructure is primarily the responsibility of the federal states and municipalities. The Child and Youth Welfare Act (KJHG) regulates that the federal states and municipalities have to ensure that there is a sufficient number of places in day-care centers for children. The fact is that when it comes to the provision of places in day-care centers, West Germany ranks at the bottom of a European comparison. This applies in particular to the care of children under three years of age and the all-day care offers for children in kindergarten and school age. At the federal level, children from the age of three have a legal right to a place in a kindergarten, but only for four hours. Various regulations at federal state level supplement this legal claim. Only three federal states extend the legal entitlement to small children and school children. Saxony-Anhalt describes the claim broadest. Here, children up to the age of 7 are entitled to a day-care place. In Brandenburg an entitlement exists from the completion of the 2nd year of life. At the age of two and a half, children in Thuringia are initially entitled to a place in a kindergarten and then to after-school care until they finish primary school. Almost all federal states have stipulated a minimum with regard to the duration of the legal entitlement. Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Lower Saxony are the exceptions. The span ranges from four hours (Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Schleswig-Holstein) to a full-day place (Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia) (cf. e.g. Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Social Affairs 2004). In contrast to western Germany, eastern Germany can have much higher supply rates for all age groups and types of places (cf. Federal Statistical Office 2004a). "(7th Family Report, p. 59)
  4. a b c Reiner Sans: The Federal Constitutional Court as a guarantor of family policy ( memento of the original from October 20, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , in: The Online Family Handbook, June 18, 2004. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. BVerfGE 82, 60 , Az. 1 BvL 20/84.
  6. BVerfGE 87, 1 , Az. 1 BvL 51/86 et al
  7. Irene Gerlach: Policy-making by the Federal Constitutional Court using the example of family policy - I. Limits to the separation of powers? Chapter III. On the development of a will to shape family policy, From Politics and Contemporary History (B 3-4 / 2000)
  8. BVerfGE 94, 241
  9. BVerfGE 99, 216 , Az. 2 BvR 1057/91 et al
  10. BVerfGE 103, 242 , Az. 1 BvR 1629/94.
  11. 7th Family Report , p. 67.
  12. ^ Die Welt, Work and Have Children , July 8, 2005.
  13. By Thomas Götz | 08:27, 09 January 2018: Family policy: This is how Austria supports its families. January 9, 2018, accessed March 25, 2019 .
  14. Art 116 of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation
  15. Anne Hornung: Master's thesis on the topic of female employment in Germany and France - an analysis with the European Labor Force Survey. (PDF; 1.1 MB) June 9, 2006, accessed on October 25, 2009 (slightly corrected version - as of July 2008). , P. 36 f.
  16. ^ Sarah Ebi: French and German family policy - historical development and current status. Freiburg 2008 (final thesis at the Evangelical University of Applied Sciences Freiburg). ( PDF  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  17. ^ A b Julien Damon: Reform of family benefits in France: Priority for young children. International Social Security Association (ISSA), March 22, 2010, accessed June 26, 2010 .
  18. See in detail: Eckstein, Christiane, Gender Equitable Family Policy. Freedom of choice as a model for the division of labor in the family, Stuttgart 2009.
  19. BVerfGE 99, 216 , Az. 2 BvR 1057/91 u. a.
  20. The Planet of the Other Mothers. France: Women like to have children - because they can still work and do not have to have a guilty conscience , Spiegel Special Jung im Kopf - The Chances of an Aging Society , 8/2006, pages 76-77.
  21. H. Birg et al.: Women's employment rate and fertility in Germany - regional analysis of the 439 rural and urban districts. (PDF; 680 kB) Retrieved on June 16, 2010 (2006/2007). P. 10 f.
  22. H. Birg et al.: Women's employment rate and fertility in Germany - regional analysis of the 439 rural and urban districts. (PDF; 680 kB) Retrieved on June 16, 2010 (2006/2007). Figure p. 11
  23. Alexander Wegener and Inge Lippert, Study Family and Working World - Framework Conditions and Corporate Strategies in Great Britain, France and Denmark ( Memento of the original from April 11, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Berlin, July 30, 2004, p. 55  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (accessed on May 7, 2008) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / 2Template: Toter Link /  
  24. a b International Family Policy. BMFSFJ, September 8, 2009, accessed November 6, 2009 .