Maternity protection for pregnant students

Significant changes made in 2018

On 1 January 2018, the new Mutterschutzgesetz (maternity protection act) came into effect. It now applies to students,

as well as to employees who are pregnant, and gives them maternity leave six weeks before and eight weeks after giving birth.

More information about how the new law applies to students at the University of Konstanz is available from: A link to the text of the law (in German) is also posted on this page.

Important health considerations for baby and mother-to-be

Please make an appointment to see Christiane Harmsen as soon as you realize that you’re pregnant She will provide you with information about safety measures, provisions and support services for students with children as well as information on Mutterschutz (maternity leave), Elternzeit (parental leave) and Elterngeld (parental leave allowance).

Her office hours are Wednesdays from 10:00-12:00 in the Student Service Centre (SSZ), and other times by appointment.

Formal notification of pregnancy

According to the Mutterschutzgesetz (maternity protection act), pregnant students are required to notify the university of their pregnancy. There is no stated deadline, but we recommend you inform the SSZ by the end of the 12th week of your pregnancy. Once your pregnancy has been formally reported, the SSZ will then inform your department as well as the occupational safety team.

On the basis of a risk assessment, they will then decide whether you may continue to study during the period of Mutterschutz (maternity leave).

This is is only possible if the risk assessment indicates you may do so and you choose to continue studying. In this case, you will need to provide the SSZ with a written statement confirming your desire to study, which you may rescind at any time. A template of this declaration is available on the following page:

Nursing and continuing your studies

Nursing mothers also fall under maternity protection. In keeping with the principle of equal opportunity, the law expressly requires enabling pregnant and nursing mothers to organize their studies as they need.

A quiet place to rest and relax

We provide an overview of places where (expectant) mothers can rest and relax. Please contact us if you have questions about or suggestions for balancing study and family responsibilities.