Article:

Update: Special Exemption for Pregnant Women

17 June 2021

Thomas Neumann, Director |
Claudia Sonnleitner, Senior Manager |

Recently, vaccination of pregnant women against Covid-19 has become possible. However, as not all expectant mothers will have been vaccinated by the end of June 2021, the government has decided to extend the Covid-19 special exemption for pregnant employees by a further three months until the end of September 2021. Further legislation remains to be seen.


Extension of the exemption
Pregnant employees who have physical contact with other persons at work (such as hairdressers or kindergarten teachers) must continue - until the end of September 2021 - to be released from work 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 § 3 MSchG (so-called "maternity protection"), unless there is an alternative employment option (e.g. home office).

 

Exception for vaccinated
However, as of July, not all pregnant employees will benefit from this special provision. Expectant mothers who have already been vaccinated against Covid-19 and have full vaccination protection will in future be exempt from the special exemption - solely because of physical contact at work.

According to current knowledge, sufficient vaccination protection is given as follows:

  • 8 days after the 2nd vaccination with Comirnaty (Pfizer).
  • 14 days after the 2nd vaccination with Moderna
  • 15 days after the 2nd vaccination with Vaxzevria (Astra Zeneca).
  • 15 days after vaccination with Janssen

Exemptions that have already been granted shall end with this date.

 

Rights and obligations of the employer
If an entitlement to leave exists, the planned amendment to the law does not change the employer's reimbursement of costs. The employer will continue to be entitled to reimbursement of the remuneration (up to the maximum monthly contribution basis) as well as the taxes, duties and social security contributions to be paid for this period.

When applying for reimbursement to the health insurance carrier, employers must continue to confirm in writing that a change in working conditions or employment at another workplace was not possible for objective reasons. What is new, however, is that in the future employers must also confirm in writing that the employee does not yet have full vaccination protection!

 

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

 

Questions about vaccination for companies!
In the meantime, many questions, such as querying the vaccination status in the company, are answered very differently and the legal situation is disputed. To avoid legal disputes and operational conflicts, we recommend contacting your advisor directly