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Last updated: 09.07.2024

How will pregnancy and starting a family affect my employment relationship?

Workers are protected against dismissal due to pregnancy or family leave. You should report your pregnancy to your employer as early as possible.

There are no legal requirements for when pregnancies must be reported to employers. However, according to the Employment Contracts Act (pdf), workers must let their employer know about maternity, paternity, parental, or childcare leave at least two months before the planned leave begins. The period of notice is one month if the leave lasts a maximum of 12 days. 

You should report your pregnancy as early as possible. After telling your employer about your pregnancy, you are protected against dismissal. Your employer must also provide certain extra occupational safety measures for expecting mothers. 

Are pregnant employees allowed to visit their child health clinic during working hours? 

As a rule, mothers should make their health clinic appointments outside of working hours. If this is not possible, workers do have the right to health examinations during working hours without losing pay. Naturally, you must report your absence and the reason to your employer in good time. 

Could I be dismissed during family leave? 

Workers may not be dismissed due to pregnancy, during family leave, or because they have announced that they will be taking family leave.  

If a worker is dismissed while pregnant or on family leave, the employer must demonstrate that there was another, justifiable reason for the dismissal. Workers on pregnancy, parental, or childcare leave may only be dismissed due to reasons related to finances and production if the employer is going out of business. The worker’s last day will be the day when the business closes for good. 

If some operations of the employer’s business continue, workers on family leave may only be dismissed for financial and production reasons once they have returned to work. Naturally, a valid reason for dismissal is still required. The dismissal’s period of notice starts from the end of the leave. 

Read more: End of employment.

Returning to work from family leave 

Workers have the right to return to their previous job after family leave. If this is not possible, the worker must be offered an equivalent position according to their employment contract. In case there is no equivalent position, the worker must be offered another position that matches their employment contract. 

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