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Special characteristics for student parents

Maternity Protection Act

Maternity protection period

Maternity benefit and maternity benefit supplement

Parental leave


Maternity Protection Act

All women who are employed (full-time as well as part-time employment), receive special protection during pregnancy as well as after delivery.

The Maternity Protection Act (MuSchG) protects the pregnant woman or mother, respectively, from notice and in most cases also from temporary reduction of income. In addition to that, it also protects the health of the mother (to-be) and the child in regard to occupational hazards.


Maternity protection period

The protection period begins six weeks before and normally eight weeks after delivery. In case of premature or multiple birth it ends twelve weeks after delivery.

During the six week-period the employment of the  mother-to-be can be may be continued in case of her own and expressive wish, which is revocable at any time. During the period after delivery, there is an absolute prohibition of work.

In case of premature birth, this period is prolonged by the time that could not be made use of before delivery by the mother (§ 6 MuSchG). Accordingly, there is an entitlement to at least 14 weeks altogether.


Maternity benefit and maternity benefit supplement

During  maternity protection period, maternity benefit will be paid if there is an emploment contract at the beginning of this period.

Thus, only those students are entitled, who are employed (also marginally) and only under the following preconditions/regulations:

  • Women who are independently insured at the statutory health insurance (GKV) receive maternity benefit by the health insurance amounting to 13 euros per day. If the income has been higher, the employer pays the difference between the 13 euros and the average net wage.
  • Women who are insured via their family at the statutory health insurance (GKV) or women who are insured at the private health insurance receive a one-time maternity benefit amounting up to 210 euros by the German Federal Insurance Office and eventually an employer supplement amounting to the difference between 13 euros and the average net wage.


Parental leave

Entitled to parental leave are those mothers and fathers who are employed.

That also includes fixed-term contracts, part-time employment contracts, marginally employed, apprentices and research (student) assistants, who live in the same household as their child and care for it / bring it up themselves.

Mothers can make use of parental leave subsequently to the  maternity protection period , the father can start parental leave already during the maternity protection period. The maternity protection period is set off against the mother’s parental leave.

The parental leave is limited to three years per child maximum, as well if the the parents jointly use it as in case of use by only one parent. If both parents are employed, they can decide by themselves by whom and for which periods parental leave will be used.

If the parental leave shall start directly after the delivery, the parents-to-be have to give written notice to the employer at least eight weeks beforehand and define how they want to organise the first 24 months. Not later than eight weeks before the end of the  second year it must be defined reliably, how they will continue the parental leave.

Provided the employer agrees, a maximum of twelve months of the total parental leave can be transferred to the time until the child’s eight birthday.

During parental leave, an employment of 30 weekly working hours is allowed.

For further information, see Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youths.