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Maternity protection

Maternity protection regulations offer expectant and new mothers legal protection. The purpose of maternity protection is to ensure the health of the mother and the unborn child in the workplace. The Maternity Protection Act regulates maternity protection in Germany, which is binding for all pregnant women, mothers and employers. There are regulations on working hours, employment bans, protection against dismissal, maternity pay and parental leave during maternity protection. It normally begins six weeks before the expected date of delivery and ends eight weeks after the birth.

Working hours and employment bans

The Maternity Protection Act sets out clear rules on working hours for pregnant women. Pregnant women may work a maximum of eight hours a day and may not work night shifts. There are also bans on dangerous activities or work that could endanger the health of mother and child. In the EU, there are similar regulations for maternity protection that ensure the protection of pregnant female workers.

Protection against dismissal and maternity pay

Pregnant women have special protection against dismissal during maternity protection. During this period, the expectant mother cannot be dismissed unless there is a special case. In addition, women receive maternity benefit from the health insurance fund during maternity protection. This money is intended to compensate for the loss of earnings during maternity leave.

Parental leave and parental allowance

Mothers and fathers in Germany have the option of applying for parental leave in addition to maternity leave. Parental leave allows parents to look after their child and take a career break. Protection against dismissal exists during parental leave. There is also parental allowance, which provides financial support for parents during parental leave. In Switzerland, comparable provisions apply with regard to parental leave and financial support for parents.