Recently, the German Federal Cabinet approved a draft law which will amend the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz). According to the coalition’s plans, the reform will come into force on 1 January 2017.
The key changes are:

  • Increase of the period of protection (during which women cannot work) after the birth of a child with disabilities up to 12 weeks;
  • Maternity leave for schoolgirls and students, and during internships;
  • Similar level of protection throughout different professional groups;
  • Maternity protection regulations will be better structured: The existing regulation which deals with the protection of mothers in their job (Verordnung zum Schutze der Mütter am Arbeitsplatz – MuSchArbV) is being incorporated into the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz)
  • Committee for maternity leave: Suitable representatives of the social partners, educational institutions, student bodies, the federal state authorities as well as suitable people from the scientific sector should be represented in the committee on maternity leave.