At the place of work, study and training, pregnant women are particularly protected.
To protect the health of the (expectant) mother and her child, employers must take special consideration during pregnancy and after delivery. The aim of maternity protection is to provide special care for pregnant working women in the workplace and to protect mothers from disadvantages in their working lives.
Maternity protection is regulated in the Maternity Protection Act.
Work should not become a risk or a burden during this special time. The legal regulations help to avoid disadvantages, dangers and damage to the health of (expectant) mothers and children. The law also protects against job loss and loss of income during and after pregnancy.
Among other things, the Maternity Protection Act regulates:
The regulations of the Maternity Protection Act apply to:
The maternity protection for female civil servants, judges and soldiers is regulated in separate legislation.
Maternity protection begins as soon as you are pregnant. It applies until after childbirth and breastfeeding.
Our advice: so that your employer can implement the necessary protective measures immediately, you should report your pregnancy as early as possible. But of course, you alone decide what time you think is most appropriate for notifying your boss.
Physically heavy or health-endangering activities are not suitable for you as a pregnant woman. Special restrictions apply here. Thus, maternity protection aims to make it easier for you as an expectant mother to reconcile your activities with the special requirements of pregnancy.
Your employer must determine the possible hazards for each activity according to type, extent and duration. Regardless of whether an employee is currently pregnant or not, this must include hazards to which a pregnant or breastfeeding woman or her (unborn) child may be exposed. This is the so-called general risk assessment.
Once your employer learns that you are pregnant or breastfeeding, he must take another close look. He must ensure that your health and the health of your (unborn) child are not endangered. Only when the individual protective measures have been determined and so-called irresponsible hazards have been ruled out may you continue to be employed. This is the individual risk assessment.
If irresponsible hazards are identified during the risk assessments, your employer must implement protective measures in a specified order of priority and ensure consistent compliance:
From the beginning of pregnancy until the end of 4 months after delivery, termination of the employment relationship by the employer is not permitted. If you subsequently go on parental leave, you can also not be terminated during this time. There are exceptions only in a few cases, for example if the company closes down. Then your employer must submit an application to the responsible district government.
The protection against dismissal applies if the employer is aware of the pregnancy or is informed within 2 weeks of receipt of the dismissal.
You yourself, however, have the right to terminate your employment relationship at any time.
During the statutory maternity protection period, you are generally prohibited from working.
After the maternity leave period ends, you can resume your previous employment or go directly on parental leave.
For information on financial benefits during maternity leave, click here.