The new Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz (MuSchG)) came into force on January 1, 2018. For the first time it applies not only to employees but also to pregnant women and nursing mothers who are students within the meaning of the Maternity Protection Act. This law protects the health of the woman and her child at her place of work, vocational training, or study during pregnancy, after delivery, and while nursing. However, effective protection presupposes that KIT has knowledge of the pregnancy or nursing period. Therefore, doctoral researchers and postdocs should inform KIT accordingly. All necessary measures to protect your health and the health of your child can only be taken if such a notification of the pregnancy or nursing period has been made. In your own interest, it is therefore advisable to inform KIT as soon as possible. However, there is no obligation to disclose the pregnancy.
Doctoral researchers/postdocs with an employment contract with KIT
For doctoral researchers and postdocs with an employment contract with KIT, the regulations on maternity protection and parental leave laid down by law apply regardless of the kind or scope of employment (i.e. also in the case of student or graduate assistants (“Hiwis”)). The notification of pregnancy is made to the Personalservice (PSE; human resources department). On the PSE website you can find further German-language information on maternity protection and parental leave as well as information for parents-to-be.
Doctoral researchers/postdocs without an employment contract with KIT
In the case of doctoral researchers and postdocs without an employment contract with KIT, it must be checked separately and on a case-by-case basis whether they are students within the meaning of the Maternity Protection Act and thus fall under the Maternity Protection Act. Doctoral researchers and postdocs without an employment contract should therefore contact the Zentrum für Information und Beratung (zib; center for information and counselling). The zib will help you with the notification of your pregnancy or nursing period. Detailed German-language information on maternity protection can be found on the zib website.
You can find further information on pursuing a doctorate as a parent in our handbook „Promovieren am KIT“ (German only).