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Maternity Protection

What is maternity protection?

Pregnant women benefit from special protection. Legislation governing maternity protection protects (expectant) mothers and their child from hazards, strenuous work, and health risks in the workplace; from financial losses; and from termination of employment during pregnancy and for a set period after the birth of the child.

The Maternity Protection Act (MuSchG) applies to all (expectant) mothers who are in employment. Other regulations protecting the health of expectant mothers and their child from risks, strenuous work, and exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace can be found, for example, in the Regulation for the Protection of Mothers at the Workplace (MuSchArbV).

Who is entitled to maternity protection?

An expectant mother is entitled to maternity leave six weeks before the birth (except in cases where the pregnant woman explicitly declares she wants to continue working) and eight weeks after the birth, or in the case of premature or multiple births, twelve weeks after the birth (maternity protection period). In the case of premature births (due to medical complications or any other reason), the maternity protection period after childbirth is automatically extended by the number of days that the mother should have been on maternity leave before the expected date of birth.

In addition to the general protection periods, the Maternity Protection Act also stipulates for the protection of the expectant mother and her child a general ban on working in certain instances (e.g. assembly line work, piecework, overtime, work on Sundays, night shifts) and a specific ban on working if a doctor deems this necessary and the expectant mother provides a medical certificate.

Financial Implications

In order to ensure that women are not at a financial disadvantage during the maternity protection period, the Maternity Protection Act lays down various maternity benefits:

  • maternity allowance
  • employer‘s contribution to the maternity allowance during the maternity protection period
  • remuneration outside the maternity protection period for pregnant women banned from performing certain types of work
  • Pregnant women with statutory health insurance are entitled to a maternity allowance for the maternity protection period of up to € 13 per day from their health insurance provider. Any difference between the maternity allowance and the woman‘s net remuneration (of the last three months) is paid by the employer.

How should I inform my employer that I am pregnant?

To allow your employer to uphold the maternity protection regulations, please inform your human resources manager that you are pregnant as soon as possible. In terms of required documentation, a copy of the document given to you by your doctor containing medical information related to your pregnancy (Mutterpass) is sufficient, as this also states the date the baby is due. Personnel Management (P-B) will forward this information to the Medical Service (P-M) and Industrial Safety (S-A). In order to more effectively assess any possible hazards and the need for any protective measures, your boss must draw up a risk assessment of your occupational activities during your pregnancy and breastfeeding period. To make this assessment easier, a check list will be sent to you after notification of your pregnancy has been received. The completed check list should be returned to Jülich‘s Medical Service and copies will be forwarded to Safety and Radiation Protection and to the Works Council. If any aspects are unclear, your place of work will be inspected and the necessary protective measures discussed.


Dr. med Thomas Rüb02461 61-5085
Company doctorsDr. med Jan Pöggeler02461 61-5415
Dr. med. Sabine Kalinowski02461 61-6213
Hazard assessmentSabine Stark02461 61-4821