The employer's obligations


  • It is prohibited to ask about an applicant's pregnancy, plans for starting a family or parenthood in an interview or an application form.
  • Occupational health and safety measures that are required will be clarified after the employee has been selected.
  • According to the Employment Contracts Act an employee has to inform their employer of a pregnancy at least two months before they intend to go on maternity leave.
  • Recruitment decisions have to be based on qualifications. The recruitment decision cannot be affected by
    • the applicant's pregnancy
    • the applicant having children  
    • the applicant being on family leave or planning to take family leave in the future.
      This also applies to fixed-term contracts.
  • Employers cannot terminate contracts at the start of a pregnancy or family leave, and the length of an employment relationship cannot be influenced by pregnancy or parenthood.


  • Pregnancy is an inappropriate reason for terminating a contract of employment during the trial period, and it is also prohibited by law.
  • The fact that an employee is pregnant or on family leave cannot affect the extension of her fixed-term contract or making the contract permanent.
  • When an employee becomes pregnant or informs the employer that she will be going on family leave she cannot be discriminated against e.g. in the distribution of duties, pay, career progression or when applying for training.
  • An employee cannot be dismissed because of her pregnancy.
  • If, for example, there are organisational changes at the workplace during an employee's parental leave, they have to be taken into consideration in the same way as other employees.

Returning to work

  • An employee may not be made redundant for financial or production-related reasons during their family leave unless the employer closes down all their activities.
  • An employee returning to work after their family leave primarily has the right to continue in their previous work duties.
  • The employee may not be replaced with a new employee or their substitute, even if the employer thinks they are better qualified for the job.