Combining a career and a family – either children or other dependent relatives – is no easy task. Furtwangen University aims to support its staff particularly at times when they need to devote a lot of time to their family and provides a wide range of support measures and services to do so.

Additional Regulations to support work-family Balance

In addition to the general maternity leave for expectant mothers, the university also has certain regulations in place that are specifically designed to facilitate work-family balance.

HFU introduced a service agreement for flexible working hours (Arbeitszeitflexibilisierung) (content in German only) several years ago; in November 2011, it also introduced a service agreement for teleworking (Telearbeit).

Protection periods and the Maternity Protection Act

§ 3 Prohibition of the employment of expectant mothers:
(1) Expectant mothers must not be employed if – as confirmed by a medical certificate – the continuation of employment represents a risk to the life or health of the mother or the child.
(2) Expectant mothers are not permitted to work during the last six weeks before giving birth, unless they have explicitly declared their willingness to work; such a declaration may be withdrawn at any time.

§ 7 Breastfeeding period:

(1) Upon request, breastfeeding mothers are entitled to be excused from work for the time necessary for breastfeeding – or, in any case, for no fewer than two 30-minute breaks or one hour-long break per day. When working hours exceed a continuous period of eight hours, the employer must – upon request of the employee – grant a minimum of two breastfeeding breaks of 45 minutes each, or – where there is no appropriate room for breastfeeding at or near the workplace – one break of no fewer than 90 minutes. The period of working hours is considered continuous unless it is interrupted by a rest period of at least two hours.

(2) The granting of breaks for breastfeeding must not lead to a loss of earnings. Breastfeeding mothers are not permitted to make up for time lost through breastfeeding either beforehand or afterwards, nor may it be counted as part of the rest periods to which employees are entitled under the Working Hours Act or any other provisions.

(3) In individual cases, the supervisory authorities may impose further regulations concerning the number, location, and duration of breastfeeding breaks; they can also prescribe the provision of breastfeeding rooms.

(4) For the period of breastfeeding, the employer or subcontractor shall pay any staff working at home and equivalent staff a remuneration of 75 per cent of average hourly earnings, or a minimum of 0.38 euros, per working day. If the woman is working for more than one employer or subcontractor, these shall share equally in paying the remuneration for the period of breastfeeding. For the payment of remuneration, the provisions laid down in §§ 23 to 25 of the Home Work Act (Heimarbeitsgesetz) of 14 March 1951 (Federal Law Gazette – Bundesgesetzblatt BGBI. I, p.191) on the protection of remuneration shall apply.

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