You do not then have to submit the printout additionally.

Blog 4. April 2020

You do not then have to submit the printout additionally.

She may also deny a request from the employer.Sources used: dpa-tmn news agency

New regulations for night work, uniform protection for different groups and more obligations for employers: there will be several changes in maternity protection in 2018. Women are thus often better protected – and at the same time have more freedom.

From January 1, 2018, new rules for maternity leave will apply. The Maternity Protection Act (MuSchG) originally dates from 1952 and has hardly been changed since then. There are several changes in 2018.

"In general, from my point of view, the law is about no longer seeing pregnancy as a disease" says Kaja Keller, lawyer and expert in labor law. For example, women have more influence on whether and how they continue to work during pregnancy. At the same time, there is better protection – for more women than before.

These are important changes in maternity leave 2018

The most important changes at a glance:

Extension: From January 1st, the MuSchG also applies to women who have not previously been included. These are mainly female and male students. "This is a kind of partial protection" explains Keller. "So you can go to school, but then you don’t have to take exams, for example." Until now, the only option in such cases was sick leave. Uniformity: Maternity protection is also standardized for other women – for female civil servants and soldiers, for example. Only the self-employed and managing directors of so-called legal entities, such as a GmbH, are not protected at all, as Keller explains. And the MuSchG still only applies to pregnant women or biological mothers after the birth – not to mothers in general. This does not include adoptive mothers or women in a same-sex relationship who will not have a child. Pressure and danger: Every employer must examine all workplaces in his company by the end of 2018 to determine whether pregnant women or nursing mothers can work there safely. It doesn’t matter whether women or men are sitting there. "This means a lot of work for employers, but it is a big step for the protection of pregnant women" says Keller. The law also gives mothers better protection from work under pressure. "But it is unclear whether this only means piecework or other forms."Night and holiday work: Until now, expectant and breastfeeding mothers were generally not allowed to work on Sundays, public holidays and at night. That is changing now, at least slightly: According to the new regulation, work on Sundays and public holidays as well as night work is allowed between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Both are only possible "if both sides, in particular the pregnant woman, agree, the doctor allows this and the responsible supervisory authority agrees" as Keller explains. In addition, pregnant women are not allowed to work alone on Sundays and public holidays.

Special protection against dismissal also for women with miscarriages

There are also some changes in the Maternity Protection Act that came into force in mid-2017:

Maternity Protection Act 2021: The most important facts about the Maternity Protection Act Pay attention to retention time: 13 important facts about parental leave Explanation of the technical terms: This is what the information in the maternity record meansFor women who have had a miscarriage after the twelfth week of pregnancy, there is special protection against dismissal for four months – just like a pregnancy and childbirth that progresses according to plan. So far, the law has not applied in this case. Mothers of children with disabilities have a longer right to maternity protection after giving birth: They can extend the protection period from eight to twelve weeks.

In order to protect working pregnant women from financial disadvantages during the general protection periods on maternity leave, they receive maternity allowance. How much money is there and where to apply for it.

Who is entitled to maternity benefit? When do I have to apply for maternity benefit? Where can I apply for maternity benefit? What information do I need for an application? How much maternity benefit is there? Maternity wages

The maternity allowance is intended to secure the income of pregnant women and young mothers during the time when they are not allowed to work, for example on maternity leave – i.e. six weeks before the birth and eight weeks afterwards. 

Who is entitled to maternity benefit?

Pregnant women who work part-time or full-time and are compulsorily or voluntarily insured with a statutory health insurance are entitled to maternity benefit. This also applies to women on maternity leave who have private health insurance or are family insured with a statutory health insurance company. 

Health insurance members who are employed but do not receive wages due to the maternity protection period also receive maternity allowance. These include female students, pensioners and voluntarily insured persons who are employed without insurance. Pregnant women who are not employed do not receive any maternity allowance.

The table shows how much maternity benefit is available for whom and where you need to apply.

Who? How much? Application to health insurance Application to the Federal Insurance Office
Statutory insurance with the right to sick pay and employment 13 euros per day and allowance from the employer Yes No
Statutory insurance with sick pay entitlement without employment Maternity benefit in the amount of previous payments Yes No
Statutory insurance without sickness benefit (e.g. female students) with marginal employment 13 euros per day and allowance from the employer Yes No
Statutory family insurance with marginal employment One-time 210 euros and a subsidy from the employer No Yes
privately insured employee One-time 210 euros and a subsidy from the employer No Yes
Statutory insurance without entitlement to sickness benefit (recipients of ALG II) Additional requirement No No

When do I have to apply for maternity benefit?

You can apply for maternity benefit at the earliest seven weeks before the expected due date. Because gynecologists or midwives only issue a corresponding certificate from the 33rd week of pregnancy. 

Where can I apply for maternity benefit?

Where to apply for maternity benefit depends on how you are insured. You can find out what applies to you in the table above.

If you would like to apply for maternity benefit from the health insurance company, please use the relevant form from your health insurance company. 

If the Federal Insurance Office is responsible for you, you can easily submit your application for maternity benefit online. The application that you submit via the website is valid without a signature. Here you come to the right page.

When you have submitted the application, you can print out a specimen copy for your records. You do not then have to submit the printout additionally. A few days later you will receive a confirmation of receipt by post.

If you do not want to submit the application online, you can also request an application form using the contact form from the Federal Insurance Office, which you must then send by post. 

Note: The processing time for online applications is shorter.

What information do I need for an application?

If you want to submit an application to the health insurance company or the Federal Insurance Office, you have to provide various information. Information you will need are:

Expected date of birth of the child Information about your health insurance Information about your current employment Tax identification number (Tax ID) Account details

How much maternity benefit is there?

The amount of the maternity allowance is based on the average net wage of the last three fully billed calendar months before the start of the protection period. The maternity allowance is a maximum of 13 euros per day.

If the average daily net wage exceeds 13 euros – which corresponds to a monthly net salary of 390 euros – an employer’s allowance is due. The employer is then obliged to pay the difference to the maternity allowance. This also applies to marginal part-time employees if their net income is higher than 390 euros per month.

Pregnant employees who are not independent members of a statutory health insurance fund, such as those privately insured or women with family insurance in statutory health insurance, receive a reduced maternity benefit of a maximum of 210 euros. 

Maternity wages

Maternity wages are paid to pregnant workers who are not allowed to work outside of the maternity leave periods. You will then continue to receive your salary from your employer. 

Photos: Baby bellies can look so different Records: These are the most extreme births in the world Get more: Apply for and calculate Parental Allowance and Parental Allowance Plus

 For example, teachers who are not immune to measles, mumps and chickenpox are banned from employment. Other medical reasons are also possible.

Sources used: Overview of maternity benefits

Small children don’t just paint on paper with pens: some of the paint can end up in their mouths or decorate their hands. With many products this is not safe. Because as Stiftung Warentest has found out, many pens contain harmful substances.

Expensive painting supplies, few pollutants? It is not that easy. Stiftung Warentest has also found many questionable substances in more expensive pens. Around every third of 35 sets checked therefore now received the verdict "inadequate": The testers gave this grade twelve times, reports the foundation in its magazine "test" (Edition 8/2018).

There were also seven products with "very good" six with "Good" nine with "satisfying" and one with "sufficient" rated. Crayons, fiber-tip pens and ink cartridges were examined.

Colored pencils: These are the test winners

When it came to colored pencils, the products from Faber-Castell (0.75 euros per pencil), Stabilo (0.48 euros), Bic Kids (0.33 euros), Mäc Geiz (0.08 euros) and Depesche (0.41 Euros) all with "Good" from. The most expensive pen in the test (0.79 euros) was, of all things, the worst.

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Products that contained critical amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in paintwork or in the mine were particularly negative. Some of them can cause cancer, alter the genetic make-up or endanger reproduction. They get into the body, for example, when children nibble or suck on pens. If possible, parents should use unpainted pens made of natural wood, recommend the product testers.

In addition, aromatic amines were found in some colored pencils, which come from the so-called azo colorants. Some of these substances can cause tumors or are suspected to do so. The manufacturers assure that these substances are firmly bound and not soluble in water. However, there is also no risk: everyone goes along "Good" rated colored pencils do not contain amines.

A woman holds crayons in her hand: Stiftung Warentest has also found many questionable substances in more expensive pens. (Source: sylv1rob1 / Symbolbild / Getty Images)

Fiber pens and ink cartridges: These are the test winners

The product testers gave the fiber pens the grade "very good" to the pens from Edding (0.43 euros), Herlitz (0.15 euros), Mäc Geiz (0.10 euros), Pelikan (0.30 euros), Stabilo (0.51 euros) and Stylex (0.13 Euro). The use of preservatives led to the devaluation of other products: They can trigger allergies.

Children’s drawings: Are children’s pictures a key to the soul? 80 years of coolies: This is how the ballpoint pen was invented

With regard to the ink cartridges, the testers found only those from Schneider harmless and rated them as well "very good" (0.12 euros per cartridge).