Article:

Update special exemption for pregnant women

07 October 2021

Thomas Neumann, Partner |
Claudia Sonnleitner, Director |

Unvaccinated pregnant women shall continue not to be exposed to any health risk at the workplace: Due to the current infection situation, the special exemption for pregnant women in occupations with close and/or physical contact to others is to be extended until the end of the year. The concrete legislation still has to be awaited.


Extension of the exemption

Pregnant employees who have physical contact with others at work (such as hairdressers, masseuses or kindergarten teachers) shall continue - until the end of December 2021 - to be granted special exemption from the beginning of the 14th week of pregnancy with continued payment of the previous remuneration until the beginning of a ban on employment pursuant to Section 3 MSchG (so-called "maternity protection"), provided that no alternative employment option (e.g. home office) exists. The entitlement to special exemption ends either with the start of the general employment ban (8 weeks before the expected date of birth) or with the start of an early employment ban (for medical reasons).

 

Exception for vaccinated persons

Since July, however, not all pregnant employees have benefited from this special regulation. Expectant mothers who have already been vaccinated against Covid-19 and have full vaccination protection have since been excluded from the special exemption.

 

Rights and obligations of the employer

If the employee is entitled to a special exemption, the employer is still entitled to reimbursement of the remuneration (up to the maximum monthly contribution basis) as well as the taxes, levies and social security contributions to be paid for this period.

When applying for reimbursement to the health insurance institution, employers must continue to confirm in writing that a change in working conditions or employment in another workplace was not possible and that the employee does not yet have full vaccination protection.

 

Obligation to notify employees

In order for employers to provide this confirmation as part of the claim for reimbursement, expectant mothers must notify their employer 14 calendar days in advance of when full immunization coverage will occur.