Maternity protection for students

The aim of the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz) is to protect the health of a woman and her child during pregnancy, after the birth of the child, and while breastfeeding at work and at other places of education and training. 

 

Maternity protection (Mutterschutz) ensures that students do not experience any disadvantage on accounts of pregnancy, the birth of a child, or due to breastfeeding. Reporting a pregnancy or period of breastfeeding to the university is entirely voluntary. However, you can only claim provisions provided by the Maternity Protection Act if you inform the university at the earliest possible time of your pregnancy (or that you are breastfeeding). The earlier you inform the university, the better the university can ensure that you are protected by the provisions of the Maternity Protection Act.

Information overview

Detailed and confidential advice about maternity protection and all other topics relating to studying with child(ren) is available from the Family Service.

There is no requirement to report your pregnancy or that you are breastfeeding. However, you are only covered by the provisions of the Maternity Protection Act if you do report them.

 

The express reporting of a pregnancy takes place outside of a confidential advisory session.

Please note that applying for a period of leave from your studies due to pregnancy is considered an official notification.

To report your pregnancy or that you are breastfeeding, please fill in and complete this form and submit it together with an extract from your maternity log showing your name and your expected date of birth or a confirmation of your pregnancy from your gynaecologist to the Student Service Centre via email ( mutterschutz@zv.uni-augsburg.de) or post (Universitätsstraße 2, 86159 Augsburg) at the earliest possible time.

Maternity protection, not to be confused with a period of statutory maternity leave (Mutterschutzfrist), applies as soon as you have reported your pregnancy until a maximum of one year following the birth of your child.

 

After you have reported your pregnancy (or that you are breastfeeding), you will receive an email from us containing all the most important information as well as a declaration form covering the period of statutory maternity leave (Mutterschutzfrist). With this form, you will notify us if you intend to take a period of statutory maternity leave. You will also receive a questionnaire in which you can notify us of any in-person events you would like to attend.

 

We will notify the examinations office (Prüfungsamt) and the examinations board (Prüfungsausschuss) of your pregnancy (or that you are breastfeeding) and will provide the legally required notification to the Gewerbeaufsichtsamt (trade supervisory board). You will receive a copy of this notification.

 

We will also receive the required risk assessments from your lecturers in order to ensure that any unacceptable risks facing you or your child are avoided.

A risk assessment of all events (lectures, examinations, internships, and sport and music events, etc.) that you attend in person will be undertaken in order to rule out any unacceptable risks facing you or your child. Special protection measures may need to be implemented, about which you will be informed.

 

Such protection measures can include the following:

  • Modification of in-person events (including event times)
  • Offer of another form of participation, such as via Zoom or writing a seminar paper
  • If these measures cannot be implemented, you will be refused permission to participate (Teilnahmeverbot). However, in such cases you have the possibility to apply to the Examinations Office for compensation for disadvantage.

Please contact Christine Müller at the Examinations Office for all questions regarding examinations and compensation for disadvantage during a period of maternity protection.

 

A period of maternity leave begins six weeks before the expected due date and, in most cases, ends eight weeks after the birth of the child. In cases of a premature birth, the maternity leave period is extended after the birth to match the period of time that would have been taken had the birth occurred on time. The period of maternity leave is not shortened if the birth occurs after the expected due date.

 

In certain cases, such as multiple births, the period of maternity leave can be extended to twelve weeks after the birth.

 

During a period of statutory maternity leave, the university is not allowed to permit your participation in lectures and seminars or examinations unless you expressly waive this and declare your willingness to continue with your regular studies. You have the option to withdraw this declaration at a future point in time.

Some events and examinations may pose a health risk to you or your unborn child, as for example with some forms of lab work, excursions, sports, as well as potentially lectures and seminars. A risk assessment therefore takes place in order to assess whether any protective measures need to be taken.

 

If you would like to take part in an event that could pose a health risk, you may only take part once the risk assessment has taken place.

You can take a leave of absence due to maternity protection if your period of maternity leave (Mutterschutzfrist) accounts for at least half of the lecture period in the relevant semester.

 

You can take a leave of absence due to parental leave for a maximum of six semesters. This applies to both mothers and fathers if both parents are studying at the University of Augsburg.

 

A special feature of a leave of absence due to maternity protection or parental leave is that you can continue your studies despite the leave of absence without the subject-semester being increased.

 

For more information, please visit the webpage on taking a leave of absence

What is relevant here is whether your participation in the internship is voluntary or whether it is a compulsory part of your studies as outlined in the examination regulations of your degree programme. For example, if it is an internship undertaken at a school as part of an education degree programme or a practical internship undertaken at a hospital or external clinic as part of a medical degree programme.

 

For compulsory internships, the university is responsible for ensuring maternity protection in cooperation with the office for internships (Praktikumstelle).

 

For students who undertake a voluntary internship as part of their studies, it is the responsibility of the relevant institution or organisation who offers the internship to ensure maternity protection.

The university is responsible for ensuring maternity protection for students studying education up until state examinations.

 

For students who undertake state examinations at public schools, the responsibility for ensuring maternity protection falls under the “ Außenstelle des Prüfungsamts für alle Lehrämter an öffentlichen Schulen” (the examination office for teaching at public schools) with the exception of practical sport examinations. Please contact the “ Außenstelle des Prüfungsamtes.”

The completion period for a bachelor’s or master’s thesis due during a period of maternity leave (Mutterschutzfrist) will be extended by the Examinations Office following the submission of a request, independent of whether the period of statutory maternity leave has been waived.

You are allowed to participate in events held between 20:00 pm and 22:00 pm and on Sundays and public holidays if you are expressly willing to declare that your participation is necessary for your studies and that the event does not pose an unacceptably high risk for you or your child.

 

In this case, you will receive a relevant form from us to sign.

 

In the period after 22:00 pm until 06:00 am, you are not allowed to participate in any in-person events. This is only possible in special cases following the approval of the Aufsichstbehörde (the supervising authority).

If you have a medical prohibition on employment (Beschäftigungsverbot), please submit this to us immediately.

 

The certificate should contain, so far as possible, specific and generally understandable details outlining in which manner and to what extent you or your child is at risk if you continue your studies. The reasons for the prohibition on employment and the associated diagnosis are not included in the certificate.

Maternity protection laws aim to ensure compensation for disadvantage directly resulting from pregnancy or a period of breastfeeding, as for example a delay in the completion of your studies or reduced academic performance. Compensation for disadvantage can also apply to potential disadvantages arising from maternity protection measures.

 

Compensation for disadvantage could include, for example, the granting of permission for breastfeeding breaks during examinations or in exceptional cases the granting of permission to share an internship.

 

To apply for compensation for disadvantage, please contact Christine Müller at the Examinations Office. 

A new Maternity Protection Act ( Mutterschutzgesetz, MuSchG) came into effect on the 1st of January 2018, which now applies to students. It aims to protect the health of pregnant and breastfeeding students and their children while simultaneously enabling, so far as is possible, the continuation of their studies. It also aims to prevent potential disadvantage arising from pregnancy or a period of breastfeeding.

 

Further information about maternity protection can be found in the online brochure of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Contact

  • Open Hours: Monday to Friday 08:30 am to 12:00 pm. Afternoon appointments by prior arrangement.
  • Phone: +49 (0)821 598-1111
Christine Müller
Prüfungsamt Nachteilsausgleich Mutterschutz/Elternzeit
Unit I/4: Examinations Office A

Search