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Pregnancy, maternity leave, and nursing period

The reformed German Act on Protection for Mothers at Work, in Vocational Training and in Study Programs (Maternity Protection Act – MuSchG) went into effect on January 1, 2018. The special protections afforded under this legislation now also apply to students at Freie Universität Berlin.

The law aims to prevent health risks to mother and child such as those that can arise from hazardous materials, pathogens, radiation, risk of accident, or particular physical strain or exertion.

As a result, please notify the department`s contact person or Student Administration office if you are pregnant or nursing, using the relevant form (notification of pregnancy or notification of nursing), especially if you would like preferential registration for courses.

Protective periods, work during nighttime/Sunday/and/or holidays

Pregnant students are not allowed to attend courses or take exams six weeks prior to delivery and eight weeks afterwards (12 weeks in case of premature or multiple birth) unless they declare their willingness to do so in written form. This declaration can be revoked.

During pregnancy and the subsequent nursing period, students are not allowed to attend courses or take exams after 8 p.m. or on Sundays and/or public holidays. This can also be made possible however based on a written declaration. This declaration is also revocable.

Contact persons for these matters are those responsible in the departments in the corresponding subject/major.

Steps in the process

  1. Consultation with and notification of pregnancy to the department or Student Records and Registration Office with documentation of the estimated due date, e.g. by presenting a copy of the pregnancy record (Mutterpass) or notification of nursing with documentation of birth, e.g. copy of birth certificate
  2. Course of study assessment performed by the contact person within the relevant department (coordination through core subject/major)
    a) where applicable, development of supportive measures to ensure student´s continuation of studies
    b) compensation for disadvantages to be requested from the relevant examining board ahead of time
  3. Report to the Student Records and Registration Office and notification of the Landesamt für Arbeitsschutz, Gesundheitsschutz und technische Sicherheit Berlin (LAGetSi), the Berlin state authority responsible for occupational health and safety
  4. Notification about the actual date of birth and, if applicable, nursing period to the department or Student Records and Registration Office
  5. where applicable, development of supportive measures to ensure student´s continuation of studies in the following semester

Further information on this topic