Pregnant students and students with children are not only protected by the relevant pregnancy and maternity laws, but are also entitled to benefit from certain exceptions to the study and examination regulations.
Here we would like to give you a few pointers and contact names to help make studying as a parent easier.
- Protection periods and the Maternity Protection Act
According to § 34, para 1 of the LHG, examinations regulations must enable students to take advantage of the protection periods according to § 3, para 2 and § 6, para 1 of the Maternity Protection Act (six weeks prior to and eight weeks after giving birth, or in the case of multiple births, twelve weeks after giving birth) as well as the periods of parental leave stipulated in regional legislation (entitlement to leave of absence for one semester, which shall not increase the number of study semesters). In § 5, para 4 of the study and examinations regulations (Studien- und Prüfungsordnung – SPO) for bachelor's programmes and in § 4, para 4 of the SPO for master's and other postgraduate programmes, valid from 1 September 2005, it's stated that "students with children under the age of three years, for whom they are personally responsible ... are entitled to complete certain course requirements and degree examinations after the relevant deadlines as prescribed in the examination regulations have expired. The same applies with regard to deadlines for completion of course requirements: ..." This may constitute justifiable reason for withdrawing from exams, applying for leave of absence for one semester, or exceeding the normal duration of studies.
Should you have questions regarding the above or need help in enforcing your legal rights, please feel free to contact the Equal Opportunity Officer (academics & students), the Gender Equality Representative (non-academic staff), or the Women's Committee of the Student Council (AStA Frauenreferat). Email: sh(at)hs-furtwangen.de. Tel: +49 (0)7723-920 2297.
Further information is also available from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (content in German only).