I am a software-engineer working in a small team of two people in a company of about 100 people. My wife and I just became parents of a little boy. Here in Germany you can use "parental leave time" (Elternzeit): you can leave your job for a limited time (unpaid) without losing your contract. After the announced time, you return to your company and get your old job back. Next to parental leave, there is "parent's money" (Elterngeld): to encourage people to take some time with the newborn, you get some money -- up to 60% of your previous salary. Elterngeld is tax-financed.
My wife earns a bit more than me, so it is more practical if I take more time off the job than her. As you can imagine, my boss might not be happy about losing 50% of the team for eight months or so.
My question is: is it a valid reason to ask for more money so that it is more profitable for me to work instead of taking parental-leave-time? I do not want to make it look like blackmailing or something.
Despite that, my team leader and I agree that I am doing a good job. I would have asked for a salary increase anyway. But maybe not as high as I am doing now. Do you know any more arguments that don't feel like blackmailing? I am ready to compromise but want to make it clear, that every euro below my expectation will result in more parental off-time.
Update I'd like to give you an update: one thing i did not tell you yet is, that i was asking to discuss a raise since january. So the first thing i made clear in the discussion with my boss was, that i have been asking to talk to him since a few weeks. Because i wanted to know how the outcome of the raise-discussion was before i could tell my company how my wife and me are planning our parental leave. So i tried to make a clean cut between these two topics. My boss did understand this issue. Fortunately, my team leader could easily confirm that my first contact about this was 'long' ago. Keeping these two topics apart, it was a good talk: we both made our points and came to a monetary solution we are all happy with. My wife and me will now take this as input when discussing how we are planning our future.
One thing that might not be clear before: it was never a question of "how high should the raise be to wipe away all parental leave". We both had a minimal and a maximal idea of our parental leave. This left three or four month in the middle of the time in question: it was not clear who stays at home. We both would be happy to stay with the baby and we both like our work. So one easy argument for this time was money. Now we know all facts, so we have to decide how we plan these few month inbetween.
Thanks for all your input! You helped me very well to argument and find a way far from blackmailing. Thanks!