Maternity protection at the University of Bonn

Maternity protection

The Maternity Protection Act also applies to students. It makes sure that students do not experience any disadvantages whilst pregnant or breastfeeding during their studies. The Office of Family Services is your first point of contact for confidential and independent advice and provides information about maternity protection, examinations, disadvantage compensation and more. 

Process of registering the pregnancy

In order to claim rights under the Maternity Protection Act, the pregnancy must be communicated to the university. Therefore you should follow the steps below:

1. Inform your study program coordinator that you are pregnant.

Fill out this notification form and send it to your study program coordinator. 

2. Make an appointment with your program coordinator.

After notifying your study program coordinator (step 1), ask your study program coordinator for an appointment to complete the following additional administrative steps:

Notification form for the Occupational Health and Safety Department 

Complete this notification form and discuss it together. 

Risk assessment

The risk assessment (PDF) is also completed together with the study program coordinator or the persons responsible for the module. The purpose of the risk assessment is to determine if pregnant students can continue to safely participate in each module.

After the documents have been completed (notification in accordance with § 27 Para.1 MuSchG + risk assessment), the notification is forwarded by the study program coordination to the student secretariat and from there sent to the district government.

Further information on the risk assessment can be found here.

Woman is talking on the phone while looking at her laptop
© Colourbox

Maternity protection

Students on maternity protection are excused from attending courses six weeks before the calculated birth date and eight weeks after birth.

Students can decide themselves whether to take advantage of maternity leave.

Important: Should a student decide to take part in a course without first having registered their pregnancy, they will automatically lose all the rights conferred to them by the Maternity Protection Act.

Examinations and disadvantage compensation

Pregnant students can withdraw from an examination at any time before it starts.

If pregnant students are unable to take an examination or complete an internship during the period of maternity protection for health reasons, they must be provided with alternative forms of examination (e.g. a term paper instead of a written examination).

This is impossible? Disadvantage compensation (e.g. a longer completion time or postponement of the examination date) can be granted.

Semester on leave

Pregnant students and students with children can take a leave of absence for up to 10 semesters. This is also possible under certain conditions already in the first semester of a master's program. (This does not apply to the first semester of an undergraduate degree program!)

The consequences of a leave of absence (excerpt)

  • Students are not eligible for BAföG during a semester on leave. If a student is unable to pursue her studies due to pregnancy, BAföG will continue to be paid for a maximum of three months (§ 15 para. 2a BAföG).

  • Students are not eligible for family allowance for themselves, except during the period in which they are on maternity leave and during a transition period of max. four months between the end of maternity leave and the continuance of their studies.

  • Students granted a leave of absence are not permitted to be employed by the university 

  • Pregnant students are required to pay the full semester fee during their leave of absence.

Maternity benefit and the employer’s maternity supplement

Maternity benefit and the employer’s maternity supplement are classed as wage-replacement benefits and are paid during maternity protection. These monies are only paid if a pregnant woman is not in receipt of pay from salaried employment during maternity leave.

Would you like to check the level of your eligibility for financial support and find out how to apply for it?

Consult the Federal Office for Social Security.
Different regulations apply to those with mini-jobs. Please consult your statutory health insurance provider.

Contact points at the University of Bonn

Two young women walking in front of the university with stroller and child on their hands
© Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn


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Karin Kick

Please also read

Maternity protection in Germany

How does maternity protection work in Germany? The website How to Germany gives the answers.

EVA - Counseling Center for Pregnancy, Sexuality and Prenatal Diagnosis

In Bonn, EVA offers qualified counseling on a wide range of topics related to pregnancy.

General Students’ Committee (AStA) – Advice for students with children 

You would like to get advice from students who are parents themselves? Get in touch with the General Students’ Committee (AStA).

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