Maternity protection without any fuss

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. Find out here all you need to know about maternity protection, examinations, disadvantage compensation and more. 

Registering a pregnancy

In order to claim rights under the Maternity Protection Act, the pregnancy must be reported to the relevant study program coordinator as well as to the Occupational Health and Safety Department. 

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.

Risk assessment

Those responsible for modules are required to draw up a risk assessment to determine whether a student can continue to study safely on a module. This is to be performed for every module.

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 be granted a leave of absence of up to 10 semesters. 

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


Avatar Lehr

Xenia Lehr

+49 228 73-65 65

Please also read

Maternity protection in Germany

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

Family allowance, parental benefit and more 

All information on state family subsidies such as BAföG and maternity benefits can be found here.

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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