August 5, 2020, 04.14 PM

With no partner to share the burden, Pototschnik has been burning through her savings to cover her monthly living costs of around 2,200 euros, including private health insurance and rent on the house she shares with her 21-year-old daughter in the western city of Essen.

In the northern town of Glueckstadt, single mum Patricia Schoenfeld is also struggling.

Having just rejoined the workforce this year after separating from her husband, the 47-year-old was still on probation as a category manager in purchasing when the pandemic shut schools, keeping her seven-year-old daughter home.

Juggling conference calls with full-time childcare was "extremely challenging", and Schoenfeld was let go in April.

'Poverty trap'

Germany counts around 1.5 million single-parent households with children under 18, overwhelmingly headed by women.

A recent Forsa survey commissioned by the government found that single mothers have been uniquely impacted by the pandemic.

Thirty percent of single mums in salaried employment have had to take leave for lack of childcare, compared with 19 percent of other parents. They are also more likely to have stopped working altogether.

Read also: Small Rise in EU Unemployment Rate Despite Easing Lockdown

Of the single mums who are self-employed, just 15 percent have been able to continue working as normal.

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