The German parliament supported a draft law banning women working in the civil service, judiciary and military from wearing full-face Islamic veils known as burqa.
Burqas and niqabs will be prohibited in selected professions as part of the legislation, which will not come into effect until being approved by the Bundesrat state parliament.
Thomas de Maiziere, the German interior minister, argued that the ban was compatible with integration as debate continues over the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers in the country.
“Integration also means that we should make clear and impart our values and where the boundaries of our tolerance towards other cultures lie,” he said.
“The draft law we have agreed on makes an important contribution to that,” The Independent quoted him as saying.
Some right-wing politicians have called for a full ban on the burqa in public, which has been imposed in France and Belgium, but Mr de Maiziere said the move would be incompatible with Germany’s constitution.