Maternity Protection

The Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz, MSchG) affords special protection to pregnant women and nursing mothers. If there is a threat to the life and health of the mother or child, expectant mothers may not be work during the last eight weeks before giving birth. In addition, the Maternity Protection Act imposes imposes certain bans and restrictions on the employment of women up to twelve weeks after birth. Section 2a of the Maternity Protection Act sets forth a special evaluation obligation: the type, extent and duration of, and the actual strain and stress associated with, certain activities as well as stress due to noise, lifting and carrying heavy loads or exposure to extremely high or low temperatures have to be determined and assessed. Pregnant women and nursing mothers may have to be transferred to other activities (eventually in another field of work) or be released from work if this proves necessary.