Maternity leave/Parental leave

Maternity leave

Expectant mothers may be employed in the last six weeks before delivery only with their consent.

They are prohibited from being employed for eight weeks after the birth of their child, or twelve weeks in the case of premature or multiple births. In the case of medically premature births and other premature deliveries, the maternity protection period after the birth will be extended by the number of days that could not be taken before the delivery date.

Outside the general protection periods, the German Maternity Protection Act (MuSchG) provides for general employment prohibitions (e.g. piecework, assembly line, overtime, Sunday or night work) and individual employment prohibitions based on a medical certificate to protect the expectant mother and her child.

The entitlement to holiday leave also exists during the period in which employees are prohibited from being employed under maternity protection law (therefore also during the maternity protection periods). A reduction in holiday leave entitlement due to employment prohibitions under maternity protection law is not permitted.

Please submit proof of pregnancy, together with your estimated due date, to the responsible HR representative (subject to your consent, please include a copy of your maternity notes showing your estimated due date).

You can find further information on these topics in the information brochure of the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ).

Parental leave

The entitlement to parental leave exists until the child(ren) reaches the age of 3 years (1 day before their 3rd birthday). Every parent is entitled to take parental leave, for up to 3 years simultaneously or successively or both or for different periods; it is an individual independent right of every parent. In principle, parental leave may also be taken irrespective of the parental allowance entitlement. Please note that parental allowance is paid in monthly instalments in line with the child’s birth date, and not by calendar month. For the mother, maternity leave counts towards their possible total three-year period of parental leave.

The applicant must notify their employer of the precise dates of the beginning and end of their desired parental leave in the next 2 years. The parental leave can be divided into 3 parts. For births from 01/07/2015 onwards, every parent has the right to take up to 24 months of the parental leave between the 3rd and 8th birthday of the child. During parental leave, part-time employment of up to 30 hours per week is permitted. Part-time work with another employer or self-employment requires the employer’s consent.

Parental leave can be terminated prematurely with the employer’s consent or extended within the framework of § 15, Para. 2 of the German Federal Law on Parental Leave and Parental Allowances (BEEG).

Notice periods:

The intention to take parental leave between the child(ren)’s birth and the age of 3 must be requested in writing from the employer at least 7 weeks before the beginning of the parental leave. If the parental leave is to be taken directly after the birth of the child (e.g. parental leave of the father), the request must be made at the latest seven weeks before the estimated date of birth. 

For births from 01/07/2015 onwards, the notice period for parental leave for the period between the 3rd and 8th birthday of the child(ren) is 13 weeks.

Any request for part-time work for family reasons following parental leave must be made separately.

Please use this form to request parental leave.

If you have any questions regarding parental leave, please contact your HR representative.   

External links:

Guide to maternity leave - German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)

Parental Allowance, ElterngeldPlus (Parental Allowance Plus) and Parental Leave - German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)

German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)