When to Tell Your Employer About Your Pregnancy

28 July 2023 | Before Your Baby is Born | By Lisa H and Jon H

When you find out that you are pregnant, you may be wondering how and when to inform your employer. 

Here’s everything you need to know about telling your employer, written in collaboration with Jon Heinrich, who is a specialist lawyer for labor law in Berlin. His specialty is ​​English-language advice to international employees in the Berlin start-up scene.

Do I have to tell my employer about my pregnancy at all?

No, most employees do not have to inform their employer. However, if you want to benefit from Mutterschutz, you do need to tell them. (More about Mutterschutz below.)

Also, if you have a key position in your company (and a longer handover and training period for your parental leave cover may be needed), you may be required to inform them in a timely fashion.

How and When to Tell My Employer about My Pregnancy?

The law states that you should inform your employer about your pregnancy as soon as you find out about it. However, as mentioned above you are not required to do so immediately or at all.

Many expecting parents wait till the 12-week mark to inform their employer in case the pregnancy might result in loss before then.

When you do tell them, it is recommended to tell your manager face-to-face before telling colleagues. You may also want to write a letter to your HR department (if there is one) informing them of the pregnancy and your expected due date. 

Your employer may also ask for a proof of the pregnancy, which your OBGYN or midwife can give you. If they do ask for this, you will have to comply. If any costs are incurred, this needs to be paid by the employer.

What is Mutterschutz?

From the day you inform your employer about your pregnancy, you will be protected by the German Mutterschutzrecht. Mutterschutz loosely translates to maternity protection. It is the German employment law for pregnancy and breastfeeding. You can learn more about this in our article about Mutterschutz.

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