According to the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz), you should inform your superiors as soon as you know you are pregnant. But you're not obligated to. Many pregnant people give notice at work at the beginning of the second trimester after the sensitive first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

You may have concerns about reporting your pregnancy at work. This could be if you're about to get a promotion, for example. In most cases, however, it is better to announce the news as soon as possible. The responsible persons in your company can then plan accordingly and you also have a number of advantages. The rights of pregnant and breastfeeding people are formulated very precisely in the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz). For example, you cannot be fired and employers must protect your health.

It is important that you inform your boss about your pregnancy before the news has gotten around the office. If you want, you can just give verbal notice. However, in conflict situations, it may help you later to have proof of when you gave notice. For example, if they try to fire you. You definitely won’t do anything wrong if you write a short letter or email to report your pregnancy at work. You may be asked to provide a medical certificate of pregnancy. The costs incurred must be covered by your employer. Your supervisor will report your pregnancy to the company's supervisory authority. No one else needs to know of your communication unless you have agreed to a different arrangement.

Once you've given notice, your employer must abide by certain rules. These concern the protection of your health, for example. You may go to check-ups during working hours if you cannot get another appointment. Adequate rest periods must be provided and you must not be scheduled to work at night. Your superiors must also comply with the employment restriction (Beschäftigungsverbot) regulated in the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz). It not only says that you are not allowed to work in the weeks after giving birth, but also that you are not allowed to do any activity that could be dangerous for you or the fetus.

Your company is not allowed to fire you during your pregnancy or the time after. This provision applies through the fourth month after childbirth. This also applies if you have a miscarriage after the twelfth week of pregnancy. Protection against termination applies even if you have a contract that includes a probationary period or only work part-time. If you were terminated before you could give notice at your workplace, you still have two weeks to report your pregnancy. The responsible parties must then withdraw the termination. If you missed the two-week deadline, inform your superiors as soon as possible! Unfortunately, there are also some exceptions that override protection against termination. They apply, for example, when a small business cannot manage without a qualified replacement worker. A pregnant person can also be dismissed if they have committed particularly serious breaches of duty. These include, for example, betrayal of trade secrets or theft.