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Maternity and parental leave

During pregnancy and after the delivery women are eligible for professional care by a doctor. The costs are covered by health insurance.

Maternity leave (Mutterschutz)

MaternityWorking expectant mothers are usually protected by maternity leave. Maternity leave begins six weeks before the delivery and ends eight weeks after. Pregnant women do not have to work during this time. Before giving birth they are allowed to work, if they want to. After birth however it is not allowed to work for eight weeks. Women are entitled to return to their job at the end of maternity leave.

Working expecting mothers are not allowed to work more than 8.5 hours a day or to undertake any heavy physical or chemical work. For further information please contact the company doctor.

Dismissal protection is an effect from the beginning of pregnancy until 4 months after childbirth. Women are than protected from redundancy (Kündigungsschutz). There are only a few exceptions which allow employers to terminate a contract.

For further information about employment protection go to the webpage of the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees.

Maternity pay (Mutterschaftsgeld)

Maternity pay is a benefit  provided by statutory health insurance. Pregnant women, with compulsory health insurance employment receive financial protection during maternity leave. Applications are possible 7 weeks before the expected delivery date. The doctor issues a document called "Certificate of expected date of delivery ("Bescheinigung über den mutmaßlichen Entbindungstermin"), which has to be handed to the medical insurance company and the employer.
The allowance is based on the wages earned during the last three months. The maximum daily payment amounts 13€ per day. If the wage is higher than this, the employer has to pay the difference (Arbeitgeberzuschuss).
Privately insured women or family insured women get a one-off payment of 210 € from the German Insurance Office (Bundesversicherungsamt).
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee  38 
53113 Bonn 
Fon: (0228) 619-0 
Fax: (0228) 619-1870
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Parental leave (Elternzeit)

Female as well as male employers are entitled to parental leave until the child's third birthday. The workplace remains open to the mother or father and the contract cannot be terminated by the employer. In order to take parental leave it is required that: 

  • you and the child live in the same household,
  • you are the primary caregiver,
  • you do not work more than 30 hours a week.

Further information about parental leave can be found here.

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