What protection do I have as a pregnant woman at work?

As soon as a pregnancy has been confirmed, the mother and child enjoy special protection in Germany thanks to the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz). For example, it offers protection from

  • health risks
  • overwork on the job 
  • financial consequences
  • termination of a job during pregnancy or after the birth

For this reason, the mother is not permitted to work six weeks before the birth and eight weeks after the birth. This period of time is known as maternity protection (Mutterschutz). For multiple births or premature births, this period is extended. All work is forbidden by law without exception, even if you are feeling very fit. 

During this time, you receive no salary from your employer. Instead, you receive maternity pay (Mutterschaftsgeld) from your health insurer.