Working Mothers in Germany

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 14.0 weeks
What percentage of the monthly salary does a worker get during maternity leave? 100  %
Who pays for maternity leave? Both employer and government
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? Yes
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? Yes
What is the duration of breastfeeding breaks, as provided by the law? One hour
Does the law require parental leave for parents? Yes
Does the law provide for paid or unpaid parental leave? A mix of both
What is the total duration of parental leave? 1095 days
Who pays for parental leave? Government
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? Yes

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.


More about maternity leave:

Women workers are entitled to a maternity leave of 14 weeks (6 weeks prenatal and 8 weeks postnatal leave). The postnatal leave may be extended to 12 weeks in the case of pre-mature birth or multiple births. In the case of death of a child, mother is allowed to return for work on her own request before the end of post-natal leave period but not until two weeks after delivery. The request by the worker must be supported by a medical statement that she is fit to work. Pregnant workers are allowed additional leave if a doctor provides a statement that the life or health of the mother or child would be endangered if work were continued. Women who, according to a medical statement, are not able to work to their full ability in the first months after delivery may not be re-engaged in work that exceeds their capacities. (Maternity Protection Act §1, §3(1-2), §5(1-2) and §6(1-2))                                                                                                                            

Women workers (even the unemployed) are entitled to maternity benefit. The maternity grant is paid for the 6-week prenatal leave period, for the day of delivery, and for the 8-week postnatal leave period (12 weeks for multiple and premature births). Cash benefit is paid at the rate of 100% of the average normal net wages over the last 3 months before the prenatal maternity leave period. Maternity leave benefits are usually paid by the mother’s health insurance (no more than €13 per day) and the mother’s employer, who covers the difference between the money provided by the health insurance and the mother’s previous earnings.(Maternity Protection Act 3(1), §5(2), §11(1),§13(1-2), §14(1))

More about parental leave:

Workers are entitled to parental leave for their natural or adopted child. Under § 15 of the Federal Parents Education and Parents Allowance Act (Bundeselterngeld- und Elterngeldgesetz - BEEG) parents of a newborn child can claim up to three years of time off to take care of their child. This time off can be claimed by the mother and father simultaneously or individually. Employees who take time off under this Act are permitted to work up to 30 hours per week (i.e., part-time) during this period with either their current or another employer. The worker must not work during the parental leave, though they have the possibility to work in this time, but not more than 30 hours. The right to parental leave exists for each child, until he/she turns 3. The postnatal maternity leave period is counted against the maximum parental leave period. A part of the parental leave - up to 12 months - can be postponed with the employer’s permission until the child’s 8th birthday. Parental leave may be taken - also proportionally - by each parent (or otherwise entitled person) or by both parents (entitled person) at the same time.

During parental leave, but principally only for 12 months, state pays 67% of the average monthly income, up to a ceiling of € 1,800. This percentage is increased in case the person received an income of less than € 1,000. Parental allowance amounts to at least € 300.  If both parents take parental leave, the state pays for 14 month.

(Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act  §§1, 2, 12(2), 15(1-4), 16 )