Since the 01.01.2018, the maternity protection law applies to women in ordinary, low or short-term work contracts, for part-time employees, trainees, interns, students and pupils. It consists mainly of four elements:
- Maternity protection period: The maternity protection period usually begins six weeks before delivery and ends eight weeks after delivery. In case of a preterm delivery, multiple birth or a disability of the child the period is extended to twelve weeks after delivery. In case of a preterm delivery, the period is extended by the time that was not used up before the delivery. If the delivery is delayed, you will still have the right to use up a full 8, respectively 12, weeks of protection period after delivery. During the six weeks before the delivery, the mother may decide herself whether she wishes to continue working / studying. If she decides to do so, she can still reconsider any time during this six weeks period. You can obtain further information on this at the mentioned contact addresses. In the weeks after delivery a complete employment ban is in place, students can, however, insist on partaking in exams in during this time.
- Protection of nursing mothers: a nursing mother has a right to nursing breaks during work time and during her studies. She can take an hour per day or a half hour twice a day to nurse. In case of a work time longer than eight hours (meaning work time not interrupted by a least a two hour break) nursing time of 45 minutes twice a day or 90 minutes once a day should be allowed. As a nursing mother you should not have to suffer an income loss due to these breaks. The nursing breaks also don’t have to be worked up before or after the contractual work time and may not be deducted from the ordinary break times, like lunch break.
- Unemployment protection: a pregnant employee cannot be laid off from beginning of pregnancy until four month after delivery. If a dismissal is received anyway during this period, it is normally objectionable. However, your employer needs to have been informed of your pregnancy or be told about it no later than two weeks after the reception of the dismissal to render it objectionable. Also, you have to be pregnant already by the time you receive the dismissal in order to fall under the unemployment protection.
- Protection of mother and child at the workplace: expecting or nursing mothers must not be exposed to health or life risks at their workplace. Especially hard physical tasks or the exposure to hazardous materials, radiation, dust, gases, fumes, heat, cold, wet, vibration or noise is not permitted. The employer is obligated to ensure the workplace of the pregnant or nursing employee is fulfilling these requirements. Should it be impossible to arrange the workplace so or should it be unacceptable for the employee, a further employment is not permitted whereas the employee are still entitled to their full payment. As of the 01st of January 2018 these regulations also apply to pregnant or nursing students.
In order to be able to apply the regulations concerning pregnant and nursing students, the relevant department first need to be notified about a pregnancy or the nursing of a baby. Please inform your student service in charge. Together with the administration staff, an accommodating course of study is formulated.
During the protection periods you have the right to be exempted from exams. The registration and respectively the deadline for the final paper can be extended or paused during the protection period.
Further more there are many protective regulations regarding participation in events between 8pm and 10pm, during Sundays and holidays, regulations on release for medical examinations and for nursing, etc.
You can download an information leaflet on the maternity protection act with special information for members of the University of Applied Sciences Trier on the bottom of this site.
We would like to encourage you to seek out any of the various consultation services of the University of Applied Sciences Trier in order for us to give you all the information you need.