Maternity Leave

Congratulations, when you are expecting a child! May it grow and prosper and keep you happy all the time. In order that this wish comes true, German labor provides a lot of rules for your personal and your child's safety. Any infringement will easily be criminally prosecuted.



I’m expecting to give birth to my child in two months. I can’t sit at the desk anymore. My hands hardly hit the keyboards with my stomach. Work has become a real pain form me. Do I still have to work? Can’t I go on maternity leave?

Sorry for your difficulties. You cannot go on maternity leave – yet. This starts just six weeks prior to the expected date of birth as testified by a physician. If you are able, you could still work and only until you believe you can no longer manage it (§§3 II, 5 II MuSchG). Supposing you really cannot work anymore, contact your physician to go on sick leave.

When may I start working again? I just hate being at home all day.

The law forbids the employer to let a mother work until after the eight weeks following birth have passed. If you gave birth prematurely this period is extended up to 12 weeks.

Do I have any special rights as a mother?

Oh yes you do. You have a lot of special rights to preserve the health and life of you and your child (§4 MuSchG>). You are not allowed to


  • do hard physical work,
  • have exposure to radiation, gases, steams, heat, cold, wetness or other hazardous things,
  • regularly carry things weighing 5 kg or occasionally carry things of 10 kg without mechanical aid,
  • constantly work standing after the fifth month of pregnancy,
  • be exposed to hazardous activities.


Additional information