CHAPTER 6

Target Country—Germany— Family Leave Benefits

Mandatory Maternity Leave

Germany’s recovery from an unemployment disease, birth rate decline since WWII, and its resilience to the Great Recession is remarkable. Its success story makes it a showcase for labor policy and labor market reforms. Flexible management of working time (through overtime and short-time work, time accounts, and labor hoarding), social cohesion, and controlled unit labor costs, combined with a rigid, incentive-oriented labor policy supported by effective program evaluation, define the characteristics of a strong reference model. As early as 1878, Germany inaugurated the first Maternity Leave Act. The legislated protections provided three weeks of leave after birth ...

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