I have a job that needs a notice of "3 Monate zum Quartalsende" or 3 Months to the End of the Quarter. And since I am already pregnant that is a pretty long time to wait (a new quarter just started so it's legally almost 5 months from now if I quit asap from what I have read).

I sent a few applications and judging by the response so far it might be possible to find a new and better paying job. However, realistically I am pretty sure most places would want a new hire to start sooner than half a year (any later will be in my mandatory maternity leave period).

I heard there is a possibility of renegotiating the contract, but if my employers decide to be difficult, what kind of penalties (if any) can I face if I got a job offer and gave a more reasonable 1-month notice to my current employer instead and go my merry way?

I have read that a pregnant woman is not bound to the notice period in the contract, but I can't find so many places saying this since so many most information sources with proper legal citations are focused on the employer not being allowed to fire the pregnant worker aspect, and not the other way around.

Does anyone know what would be the case here?

Update: A mutual contract termination agreement (Aufhebungsvertrag) was necessary, however, was granted since it isn't in the old employer's interest to pay parental leave for an employee that plans to leave directly after.

New employer may not discriminate based on pregnancy and a pregnant applicant is not required to disclose at an interview. So an offer was accepted, and I successfully switched took leave and am back.

  • 1
    It seems likely that the intention of that regulation is to allow pregnant women to leave the workforce rather than to break legal agreements freely entered into for simple financial advantage. But I am just guessing and maybe Germany allows exactly that.
    – user16259
    Jan 13, 2018 at 6:28
  • The link is not to the text of the law, but to a site giving information for pregnant women. So it is quite possible that what they say is correct if you just want to stop working, but not if you want to switch jobs.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 13, 2018 at 16:36
  • I wouldn’t rely on that website; it seems very unlikely that a pregnancy would just invalidate a contractual notice period.
    – chirlu
    Feb 19, 2018 at 21:23
  • The website as of now no longer claims that pregnant women can leave without notice period.
    – chirlu
    Dec 14, 2018 at 17:17

2 Answers 2


"However, realistically I am pretty sure most places would want a new hire to start sooner than half a year". Given that you are posting here, I am going to guess you are not German. I think you will be surprised. "3 Monate zum Quartalsende" is not unusual in Germany, so employers will be used to having to wait that long. It sucks, but they don't have much choice.


It depends on your work contract. Usually work contracts state that they can not fire you without 3 months notice. Sometimes it's mutual. In any case it's going to be clearly stated in the contract you signed when you got hired.

You still also have the option of negotiating with your employer and signing a different contract that ends your work contract. The employer might not be greatly unhappy about letting you go knowing that you will have to take maternity leave soon anyway.

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    On the other hand, as unfortunate as it maybe, a new employer might not be willing to start a new contract a few months before a maternity leave.
    – audionuma
    Jan 18, 2018 at 16:42
  • But it's not something that they're allowed to ask about or to discriminate against.
    – xyious
    Jan 18, 2018 at 19:20

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