Pregnancy, nursing and studying

Pregnancy, the first few weeks after delivery as well as nursing time are periods in which mothers benefit from special rights as well as specific protection measures

The protective provisions in the order of the Federal Department of Economy, Training and Research (DEFR), also called the Maternity protection order OProMa, applies to any hazardous or difficult work during pregnancy or maternity.

Below you will find the activities for which protective measures are required, according to the conclusions of the risk analysis at the beginning of the pregnancy and sometimes until the end of nursing. Risk activities are summarised in the summary table by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).


Maternity protection measures (Fr)

Summary Table (Fr)

  • Overview
    • A risk analysis must be carried out by a hygienist or occupational doctors for work that is difficult or hazardous. To receive your risk analysis, please contact the occupational hygienistat the University as soon as possible, ideally once you learn of your pregnancy.
    • The risk analysis must be carried out by a specialist; results are provided in writing, as well as recommended protection measures.
    • You are entitled to have access to any information required for the risk analysis and assessment of the situation at the place of study.
    • For hazardous or difficult activities: a medical certificate must be issued if the activity is carried out without limitation or under certain conditions, or even if the activity has to be stopped. A medical discharge must also be issued for subjectively hard activities.
    • On request, a medical certificate of unfitness can be issued by the gynaecologist based on the conclusions of the risk analysis. This legal provision is not of the same order as sick leave which the gynaecologist can issue during pregnancy, related to its progress. This is a certificatedeclaring the unfitness of the pregnant woman for the activity and the legal orders on maternity protection.

    • Pregnant women or pregnant persons in smoking areas: pregnant women or pregnant persons, or nursing mothers must not be exposed to the effects of hazardous chemical substances, that could be harmful to the mother and the child, such as passive smoking.
    • Pregnant women or pregnant persons and nursing mothers must be able to lie down and rest in suitable conditions (nursing or rest rooms, infirmeries, etc).
    • Checking the state of health and effectiveness of protection measures lies with the obstretrician.


    Risk analysis


  • Difficult work and hazardous substances

    Hard work or those related to hazardous substances must not imperil the health of the mother or the child. This includes: 

    • moving heavy loads;
    • movements and positions that lead to early fatigue;
    • work accompanied by shocks, impacts and vibrations transmitted to the body;
    • work at high or low temperatures and those exposed to humidity;
    • work involving harmful rays or noises above 85 dB;
    • work involving hazardous chemical substances or microorganisms;
    • highly restrictive working time organisation systems.


    Risk analysis

Are you working alongside your studies? Find out your rights as an employee.