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Foreign mothers in Germany may find it difficult to understand the nuances of maternity leave. To what extent does Germany’s maternity leave compare to those of other countries? Where can I find out if a permit is required? In this piece, we break it all down for you.
A woman’s eligibility for maternity leave depends on her age when her child is born. Mothers between the ages of 18 and 25 receive 14 weeks of full pay, while those between the ages of 26 and 35 receive 16 weeks at 80% pay. If she has already given birth more than once, her maternity leave will be extended by two weeks for each additional kid.
What Is Maternity Leave In Germany?
Anyone employed in Germany who becomes pregnant is entitled to a fourteen-week maternity leave, which must begin at least six weeks before the expected date of childbirth and last no less than eight weeks following the birth of the child. Parental leave can be extended by up to 12 weeks if your child is born prematurely, via cesarean section, or in multiples, or if they are born disabled.
It is perfectly legal to keep working during pregnancy. Once you’ve told your employer, they’ll handle everything else. Therefore, mothers are not allowed to take leave after giving birth. You are required to take off from work for a period of at least eight weeks after the birth of your child.
Who Is Eligible For Maternity Leave In Germany?
Any woman who is pregnant or nursing is entitled to a maternity leave under a German contract, regardless of her marital status or nationality.
These women are not eligible for maternity leave in Germany:
- Full-time housewives
- Women make up 100% of the self-employed population.
- Directors of publicly traded companies
- Directors who are not employees of the corporation but rather members of the general public.
- Women who choose to adopt as mothers
Job Protection During Your Time Away From Work In Germany
The German “Kündigungsschutz” statute protects pregnant women and new mothers for up to four months after giving birth (pregnancy protection).
Applying for parental leave (Elternzeit) could help you stay in your current position for a longer period of time.
You are only protected from being fired if you have informed your employer that you are pregnant, have just given birth, or have had a miscarriage.
But don’t think it’s impossible to fire you now. A mother can be terminated from her job under the following scenarios:
- The company has run out of money.
- The company is eliminating some internal divisions.
- Your current employer needs a suitable successor immediately.
- You have committed a serious crime and abandoned your duties.
If your employer fires you for one of the aforementioned reasons, you may file a written claim with the appropriate state agency. But your dismissal depends on the government agency giving in to their demand. Those interested can discover a list of these locations on the official website of the Ministry for Families, Seniors, Women, and Children (in German).
Protection At Work For Mom And Child In Germany
Women who are expecting children are shielded from hazardous work by the Maternity Protection Act.
Some of the benefits of the Maternity Protection Act for both women and their unborn children are as follows:
Regulated Work Hours
- To work between the hours of 8 and 10 pm, your company will need a permission from the relevant regulatory bodies, and you will need to give your express consent to this arrangement.
- You’re not allowed to work between the hours of 10pm and 6am.
- Except by special permission, no work is permitted on Sundays or legal holidays. If this is the case, you are entitled to one extra day off and at least 11 hours of rest between shifts.
- Stay within your scheduled work time.
- No minor may work more than eight hours per day or 80 hours in any two-week period.
- In the United States, anyone over the age of 18 cannot legally work more than 8.5 hours per day or more than 90 hours in a two-week period.
Controlled Work Environment
- Your company has a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace for you to do your job in.
- You may not perform any work that requires you to lift or transport more than 5 kilograms (11 pounds) without the assistance of machines.
- The working environment should be free of any chemicals, materials, fumes, or severe circumstances that could impair your pregnancy.
- This is not the right work for you if you need to constantly bend over or stretch your arms and legs.
- Equipment that is hard on the feet shouldn’t be used.
- It’s possible that after six months on the job, you won’t be able to continue standing for long periods of time.
Your Benefits During The Nursing Period In Germany
Breast milk significantly helps a baby’s growth and development. The Maternity Protection Act mandates that breastfeeding mothers be given reasonable accommodations, including reasonable access to medical care.
If you return to work while breastfeeding, your company must provide you with “nursing breaks” until your child turns one.
In a typical day, you can choose between two 30-minute nursing breaks or one hour of continuous nursing time. If you work more than eight hours without a two-hour break, you are entitled to two 45-minute nursing breaks every day. If you are unable to breastfeed your child at work, you have the option of taking a 90-minute break.
No additional time at the office is required to make up for these absences. You shouldn’t lose pay and these shouldn’t be counted as rest times (e.g., lunch break).
If a woman works part-time, she should be allowed to pump and feed her baby at that time.
Financial Benefits During Your Maternity Leave In Germany
You should receive your regular salary while on maternity leave in Germany. Your company must provide you a maternity protection salary during your pregnancy (Mutterschutzlohn). If you want to apply, you have until seven weeks before your due date.
You will continue to receive your pre-pregnancy salary throughout your pregnancy. If you are paid every month, your salary will be determined by taking an average of the past three pay periods. The past 13 weeks’ worth of hours worked will be factored into your weekly salary.
While on maternity leave, the money you receive is treated like a salary and subject to the same taxes and social contributions as any other paycheck.
Child allowance (Elterngeld) and parental allowance (Elterngeld) are two forms of government aid that may be available to you if you have a young family (Kindergeld).
When To Inform Your Employer Of Pregnancy In Germany?
It is completely up to you if and when you tell your employer about your pregnancy. Keep in mind that the first three months of pregnancy are the most critical for your unborn child.
It is standard practice in Germany to tell one’s employer that they are expecting after the first three months have passed without any complications.
Can You Go On Maternity Leave During Your Probation Period?
If you have a long-term contract, you can take maternity leave during your probationary period, but your absence will not be extended.
If you aren’t already living in Germany but plan to start a family, this is yet another argument in favor of relocating here.
Maternity Leave and Job Protection (Mutterschutz) in Germany
Getting used to parenting as a working mother in Germany is rather simple. You’ll need to take time off work both before and after the birth of your child. There are a lot of English-speaking expats who will find this to be groundbreaking news. The Mutterschutzgesetz, or Maternity Protection Act, was enacted in 1968 to protect women against discrimination in the workplace related to pregnancy or the delivery of a child. Beyond its core assertion, this law provides far more.
To qualify for Maternity Protection benefits, working pregnant women must inform their employer of their pregnancy and expected delivery date. If a verbal communication is not adequate, a doctor’s Certificate of Expected Date of Delivery must be submitted to the employer. Keep your receipt available because if you request reimbursement from your employer, they will pay for this certificate.
Female job-seekers who are expecting their first child need not use their pregnancy as a reason for their dismissal.
An employee’s pregnancy cannot be divulged to a third party by an employer.
As long as an employer received proper notification (the ideal option is via Registered Mail with a Return Receipt) of the pregnancy and/or the anticipated birth date, this termination prohibition is in effect. Dismissal of a pregnant worker is typically reversed or nullified if it occurs fewer than two weeks before the expected date of delivery. There aren’t many businesses willing to take on the risk of taking on higher authorities in this matter, because it’s difficult and generally ends in failure.
Mother & Child Protection at the Workplace
- Employers have a responsibility to create a safe and healthy workplace for pregnant and nursing mothers.
- Employers are required to provide reclining chairs in the break room for pregnant and nursing employees.
- Contrary to popular misconception, working in close proximity to an electronic device (such as a computer display) does not offer any health risks to an expecting or nursing mother. Employers are recommended to make a flexible work schedule for expecting and nursing mothers to prevent undue stress. It is recommended that you see the company physician if you have any medical questions or concerns.
- Physically demanding job, working with or near potentially harmful substances, materials, or gases, or working in unsafe environments are all off-limits to pregnant women.
- Both the mother and the infant should stay away from potentially harmful environments such compressed air, radioactive materials, and chemical and biological pollutants.
In the event of a dispute over the interpretation of these guidelines, the Employment Protection Office or the Gewerberaufsichtämter (Business Supervisory Office) shall have the last say. Both parties have access to a consultation office for questions or concerns at any time.
- Women who are expecting or nursing are not permitted to enter the building between the hours of 20:00 and 06:00 on weeknights.
- Breastfeeding and pregnant women should not be expected to work on Sundays or holidays.
- Pregnant and nursing mothers cannot be forced to work overtime.
- It is illegal for expectant and nursing mothers to work more than 8 and a half hours each day or 90 hours per two weeks.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding minors may not work more than 8 hours per day or 80 hours every two-week period.
Workers in the health care and hospitality sectors, as well as those in the arts and private households, are exempt from this norm.
Nursing (Working) Mothers
Nursing or breast-feeding is quite prevalent in Germany, thus the Maternity Protection Act made sure it wouldn’t be taken for granted. If a working mother has to nurse her infant during her 8-hour shift, she may do so, as long as her shift has not already been interrupted for two hours. Two 30-minute nursing breaks per day are allowed, or one 60-minute break per day. If a mother works more than eight hours in a day, she is entitled to either two 45-minute breaks or one 90-minute break.
These breaks cannot be combined with any other existing breaks and cannot be used to a nursing mother’s income or hours worked (like lunch breaks).
Mutterschutzlohn / Maternity Protection Pay
If a pregnant woman is deemed unable to work owing to her pregnancy, she will not face any financial repercussions as a result, thanks to a clause in the Maternity Protection Act. A woman must have worked for her company for at least 13 consecutive weeks or for the three months before to her pregnancy in order to be eligible for Maternity Protection Pay.
Protection Period: Before and After Giving Birth
Mothers’ rights are protected by the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz)
- Mothers’ rights are protected by the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz)
- The Maternity Protection Act safeguards women’s legal protections throughout pregnancy and childbirth (Mutterschutzgesetz)
- Whether you had multiples, a premature baby, or a cesarean delivery, you’ll get an automatic 12-week extension on your return to work date (paragraph 5.1).
A Public Health Officer has the last say on whether or not an employee’s leave of absence should exceed the typical 8 weeks (paragraph 3.3)
No matter how far medical science progresses, we will never be able to pinpoint the exact day of a woman’s delivery. So, take heart. A backup plan has been developed by the German government for just such an eventuality. Your eight weeks of paid maternity leave will be provided to you regardless of when your kid is delivered.
Is there paid maternity leave in Germany?
In the event of a premature birth, multiple births, or a child being declared disabled by a doctor within the first eight weeks of life, the mother is entitled to an additional six weeks of maternity allowance in addition to the standard eight weeks that begin on the day of birth.
How long is paid parental leave in Germany?
How long of a parental leave is acceptable, and when may I take it? Each parent is eligible for three years of leave to care for a child. This three-year parental leave period covers the legally required six weeks of maternity leave for moms.
Can I take 12 months maternity leave?
There is a wide range of maternity leave policies. It is your responsibility to let your employer know if you want to return to work in less than a year after giving birth. The maximum validity period is one year. Two weeks is the minimum allowed for maternity leave.
How many weeks can you go on maternity leave?
You are eligible to begin your maternity leave up to 11 weeks before you are due. But if you plan to work right up to the day you give birth, and then wind up needing time off because of a pregnancy-related sickness in the last month of pregnancy, your leave will begin at that time.
What country has the shortest maternity leave?
For 14 weeks, pregnant Japanese women receive 67 percent of their regular pay. It’s the equivalent of working 9.4 weeks at full time. The birth and marriage rates in Japan are reportedly at all-time lows, as reported by The Diplomat.
Which European country has the best maternity leave?
Bulgaria. When compared to other Eastern European countries, Bulgaria has the most generous maternity leave policy. Women in the workforce have the option of taking up to 410 days of paid maternity leave. Social security will pay for almost all of the worker’s wages while they are off.
Do fathers get paid paternity leave in Germany?
Parental benefit is available to new parents even when parental leave is unpaid (Elterngeld). Up to 1,800 Euros a month can be received to help with financial difficulties. It’s excellent news that your job won’t disappear while you take time off to raise a child.
Maternity Leave Entitlements, Parental Leave and the Maternity Protection Act in Germany
German maternity leave is regulated under the Maternity Protection Act (MPA). Parental leave is available under the MPA for a total of 12 weeks: six weeks prior to the delivery and eight weeks after (or 12 weeks in case of premature or multiple births). For the next four months, women cannot be fired because of their pregnancy or a miscarriage.
In addition to maternity leave, the government pays a parental stipend of 300 to 1200 Euros (depending on salary) for the first 14 months of an extended parental leave of up to a total of 24 months.
Parents can take up to 24 months off work to care for their children, and the government will provide a stipend of 300 to 1200 Euros per month, depending on salary, for the first 14 months.
Paternity Leave Entitlements in Germany
Fathers are not required to take paternity leave, but they are entitled to it if they choose to take leave at the same time as the mother and receive the same stipend, up to the maximum allowed by the family’s financial circumstances.
Maternity/Paternity Eligibility for Expats and Locals in Germany?
Maternity and paternity leave are guaranteed by law in Germany for all working mothers. This will have an impact on both local and international staff, although the latter will be hit harder.
How to Apply for Maternity or Parental Leave in Germany
Requests for parental leaves of absence must be made in writing to the employer at least seven weeks in advance.
Do you need more information about Germany?
When it comes to German maternity leave laws, you may require more information on:
Making certain that the government pays the worker during their parental leave.
Our local partners and expertise are here to help with any immigration, payroll, or tax compliance issues that may arise. We make it easier to search for work in foreign countries.
Maternity Leave in the United States of America
Working mothers in the United States have the option of taking paid or unpaid leave for the birth and care of their kid.
How long is maternity leave in texas
Maternity leave in Texas can range from two weeks to a year or more, depending on the company and the employee’s tenure there. Whether you have a natural birth or a cesarean section, most mothers only need 12-16 weeks of paid leave.
Can I get paid by my employer while on maternity leave?
If you want to get federally mandated Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits for any portion of your pregnancy-related absence, you need to have worked for your current employer for at least 12 weeks. If you do not meet this requirement, then you will need to take advantage of any unpaid family medical leave benefits offered by your state or employer.
How do I get paid while on maternity leave in Texas?
If you do not qualify for Family and Medical Leave Act protections, your state or employer may still provide you with paid family and medical leave benefits.
Canet paid during maternity leave?
Even if you don’t qualify for federal family leave, your employer or state might.
Do you have to pay maternity leave back if you quit?
There is no requirement to pay back maternity leave if you decide to leave your employment.
How long should I wear a maternity belt after delivery?
During the first six weeks after giving birth, a maternity belt should be used if lifting is involved.
What happens if I go into labour before my scheduled cesarean section?
If you are experiencing preterm labor, a C-section should be delayed until week 36 of your pregnancy.
How long should I wait to have sex after delivery?
It is recommended to wait at least six weeks after giving birth to engage in sexual activity again. Four weeks before you’re due, you can resume sexual activity if your doctor gives you the green light.
Does FMLA cover work part-time?
When it comes to paid medical or family leave, the FMLA does not oblige employers to go above and beyond what is required by state law. To qualify for unpaid family and medical leave due to pregnancy-related impairment, an employee must have worked for their current employer for a certain amount of time and meet certain eligibility requirements.
If there are inconsistencies between federal FMLA law and your state’s law, you may be eligible for paid family and medical leave benefits from your state.
Can I be fired while on maternity leave?
Employers are not allowed to fire pregnant workers. Neither your pregnancy nor the fact that you are seeking job should be used as a reason for avoiding meeting with you for an interview. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against workers who sue for discrimination due to pregnancy-related absences.
Are people with disabilities protected by the same laws?
Yes! The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits any form of workplace discrimination based on a person’s disability (ADA). Employers cannot discriminate against people with disabilities, including epilepsy and autism, unless those disabilities are severe enough to interfere with the individual’s ability to perform the essential functions of their jobs.
Workers with disabilities have the right to reasonable workplace accommodations, such as ramps and parking spots specifically reserved for those using wheelchairs, and cannot be discriminated against in any way, shape, or form because of their handicap. The Fair Labor Standards Act is just one example of a law that protects people with disabilities in the workplace (FLSA).
Are there any exceptions?
Workers with disabilities have the right to equal pay, reasonable accommodations (such as ramps and reserved parking spots), and cannot be discriminated against for reasons related to their impairment. The Fair Labor Standards Act, for example, protects employees with impairments in the workplace (FLSA).