About the new Maternity Protection Act

Dear female students,

On January 1, 2018, a newly amended version of Germany’s Maternity Protection Act (MuSchuG) entered into force. Previously, the protections of this law did not explicitly extend to female students. Now, however, all female students enrolled at a university in Germany enjoy the same legal protections before and after pregnancy as women in the workplace. These include protected periods of leave (six weeks before the due date and eight weeks after birth), as well as an entitlement to compensatory measures should exams occur during this time period.

Informing HSRW of your pregnancy

In order to take advantage of these legal protections, you must first officially inform the University of your pregnancy (refer to §15 MuSchuG). The University cannot compel you, but it’s highly recommended you do this in a timely manner so that we can sit down with you to explain your full legal rights before and after your pregnancy and mitigate any potential study-related risks you may face.

Risk assessments and compensatory measures

Some of your modules may pose potential risks to you or your baby, for example labs in technical or scientific degrees, or physical activities with children in Early Childhood Education B.A. Accordingly, the University is obligated by law to prepare and adhere to a risk assessment for every degree programme (see §10 MuShuG).

As a result, the University is in an excellent position to not only inform you about potential risks during your individual studies, but also point you towards support and advising services both on and off campus and outline recommended steps for you to take.


Please contact the following person in your faculty to notify the University of your pregnancy:

Technology and Bionics

Elena Buksmann (Study Guide)

Life Sciences

Lena Völkel (Study Guide)

Society and Economics

Anthony Efonemchi (Study Guide)

Communication and Environment

Elena Buksmann (Study Guide)

Disclosing your information to others

We will inform you immediately and transparently if, why and to whom at the University we need to inform of your pregnancy (for example: Examination Service, your faculty’s Examination Board, laboratory managers etc.)

Note that the Maternity Protection Act also requires us to forward information about you and your pregnancy to the responsible regulatory authorities, in this case the Düsseldorf District Government (see §27 MuSchuG).

Full legal text and information pamphlet

The University is also required by law to make the full text of the Maternity Leave Act available to you (see §26 MuSchuG). The full text can be downloaded at the following link: Gesetz zur Neuregelung des Mutterschutzrechts (available in German only).

Key provisions, as well as many useful tips and other information, are outlined in the pamphlet “Leitfaden zum Mutterschutz” (Guide to Maternity Leave) published by the Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, which can be found here: Leitfaden zum Mutterschutz (available in German only) For a brieve description of the regulations in English see 

The current Higher Education Act of North Rhine-Westphalia can be found here (available in German only)

General questions

For general questions regarding the new Maternity Protection Act and/or its implementation, please contact:

Dr. Rebecca Müller (Study Guides Coordinator)