What does the Maternity Protection Act include?

The Maternity Protection Act is intended to protect expectant and new moms. In addition to the employment ban, special protection against dismissal and wage replacement payments, the law includes many other regulations. Find out here which provisions are contained in the Maternity Protection Act.

What does the Maternity Protection Act include?

The Maternity Protection Act (MuSchG) resulted from the implementation of Article 6 Paragraph 4 of the Basic Law: “Every mother is entitled to the protection and care of the community.” This idea forms the core of the Maternity Protection Act. The protection covers a wide variety of topics. The legislator has thought of everything, from legally regulated time off around the birth, to special protection against dismissal and protective measures in the workplace , to compensating for loss of salary for the weeks before and after the birth. Find out more about wage replacement payments during this time below:

maternity allowance

According to the Maternity Protection Act, women are paid wage replacement payments during maternity protection. Find out here whether you are entitled to it and what to look out for when applying.

Who does the Maternity Protection Act apply to?

The Maternity Protection Act applies to all women who are employed . An employment relationship can be a full-time or part-time job subject to social security contributions, marginal employment, such as a 400-euro job, or an apprenticeship in the sense of an apprenticeship or a traineeship. What is decisive, however, is that you work for an employer for a fee and that there is an employment contract between you. Only then will your activity be regarded as an employment relationship. Homeworkers are therefore also entitled to maternity leave. The self-employed and housewives, on the other hand, are not allowed to apply for maternity leave, since in these cases there is no employment relationship between the employer and the employee.
Note:Different regulations apply to civil servants and soldiers, which are basically identical to the Maternity Protection Act. While the “Maternity Protection Ordinance” applies to civil servants, the “Maternity Protection Ordinance for Soldiers” applies to professional soldiers.

The closed periods in the Maternity Protection Act

The protection provided by the Maternity Protection Act is intended to protect you as a working pregnant woman, especially in the time before and after the birth, and to enable the pregnancy to run smoothly. Protection periods have therefore been set up by the legislature for all expectant mothers. They are anchored in the Maternity Protection Act and include the following phases:

  • Time of pregnancy: As a pregnant woman, you have the right not to work six weeks before the birth. It is at your discretion whether you fully exercise this right.
  • Time after the birth: You are not allowed to work for eight weeks after the birth. This time is not optional, there is a strict ban on working. The protection period increases to twelve weeks for premature births and multiple births .
  • Breastfeeding at work: Breast milk is the basis for a good development of your baby . Your employer is therefore obliged to give you breaks to breastfeed. You are entitled to an hour’s break per day or half an hour twice a day to breastfeed your child.

Other rights under the Maternity Protection Act

Your right to maternity leave gives you a number of important rights during and shortly after your pregnancy:

  • You enjoy special protection against dismissal during this time.
  • In addition to the statutory protection periods before and after the birth, if your health or that of the baby is at risk, you can also be granted further fully paid rest periods up to and including a ban on employment, in which case your doctor or a supervisory authority can release you completely.
  • You are entitled to paid time off for possible examinations during pregnancy, e.g. check -ups .
  • You have the right to have your workplace designed to protect life and health.
  • You are entitled to the so-called maternity benefit.
Excerpt from the maternity law in the company

In companies and departments where at least three women work, an excerpt from the Maternity Act must be available. It is very helpful to find out about the possibilities and rights of maternity leave in order to react against unforeseen events, such as sudden dismissal or low maternity pay.

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