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Do you need information about your rights at work in Germany?

How will I be paid during the period I am on maternity leave?

Maternity leave pay is only paid to people who had statutory health insurance on the first day of the maternity leave period and were entitled to sick pay. 

While you are on maternity leave, the health insurance company will pay you the maternity leave pay (Mutterschafts-Geld). The maximum amount is 13 euros per day. You have to apply for the maternity leave pay from your health insurance fund. This can be done at the earliest 7 weeks before the expected date of birth. You need a medical certificate for the application.

If you have a mini job and family insurance, you have to apply for maternity leave pay at the maternity leave pay office. The maximum amount is then 210 euros per month.

If you are entitled to maternity leave pay, you will receive additional money from your employer. The employer contribution, together with the maternity allowance, is intended to compensate for the loss of the normal salary.

Not all people receive the employer contribution, even if they stay at home during the maternity leave period and therefore do not receive a salary. Some people only receive the maternity allowance of a maximum of 13 euros per calendar day from the health insurance fund. The following people do not receive an employer contribution:

  • Students
  • People with mini jobs
  • Retired people

Sometimes a pregnant person is not allowed to work for medical reasons even before the protection period starts 6 weeks before the projected birth date. In these cases, the employer pays a maternity leave wage. The maternity leave wage is the average salary (before tax/gross) of the last 3 months before you became pregnant. There are no additional costs for employers. The health insurance fund repays employers for the maternity leave wage.

Employers must register all their employees with a health insurance fund at the beginning of the employment relationship. After the first day of work, employers have a maximum of 6 weeks to do this.

Not all employers respect the law.

  • Some employers do not register their employees with the health insurance fund.
  • Some employers unregister their employees with the health insurance fund even though the employment relationship has not ended.

You are covered by health insurance, even if the employer does not pay the health insurance contribution. The fault lies with the employer.