Teaching staff with children
HTW Berlin is a family-friendly university and wants to supports its members in combining work and family obligations. Employees who are parents or are about to become parents are faced with special challenges. You can find answers to frequently asked questions in the following section.
Table of contents
When should I inform HTW Berlin that I am pregnant?
If you are pregnant, please let us know as soon as possible. Please submit a copy of the maternity record or a medical certificate with the calculated date of birth to the HR Department as a proof. If you are exposed to any risks in the workplace, please talk to your gynaecologist. To arrange for a risk assessment to be carried out, please directly contact the safety engineers of HTW Berlin.
When does maternity leave begin?
Maternity leave usually lasts 14 weeks, starting six weeks before the calculated date of birth and ending eight weeks after the birth. If your child is born earlier than expected, the remaining time from the six weeks prior to the birth will be added to the eight weeks after the birth to ensure a minimum total of 14 weeks. If you child arrives later than planned, the eight weeks will start from the actual date of birth. In the case of premature births (under 2500 grams) or multiple births, maternity leave is extended to 12 weeks after birth. The HR Department will notify you of the start of maternity leave in a letter and will also inform your health insurance provider and the safety engineers at HTW about your pregnancy.
What are the rules for parental leave and parental allowance?
As a mother, you can take parental leave after maternity leave. As the other parent of the child, you can take parental leave directly after the birth of the child. You must submit your binding parental leave declaration in writing to the HR Department at the latest seven weeks before the calculated date of birth.
You are entitled to claim a parental allowance if you work a maximum of 30 hours per week and live in Germany. During this time you are protected against dismissal from your job. Detailed information on the three parental allowance variants — Basiselterngeld, ElterngeldPlus and Partnerschaftsbonus — can be found in the brochure "Elterngeld, ElterngeldPlus und Elternzeit [PDF]. You can calculate your personal entitlement with the parental allowance calculator of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
Until when am I required to teach?
Teaching is organised by each faculty. In principle, you are required to teach until the start of your maternity leave or parental leave. If your maternity leave or parental leave falls within the semester, you will teach up until this point, just as in any other semester. As soon as maternity leave or parental leave starts, you will stop teaching and are not obliged to make up the hours either before or afterwards. Subject to consultation with the teaching staff coordinators, you are free to teach in blocks or hold examinations before your absence.
What examinations can I hold in advance?
During the teaching period, you can conduct assessments during the module. For example, this applies to reports, assignments, project logs and presentations. However, written tests and oral examinations must be conducted during the examination period and cannot be held in advance. Precise information on module examinations can be found in sections 9 to 13 of the Framework Study and Examination Regulations. The module descriptions for each study programme specify whether assessments can be conducted during the module.
Who will organise teaching cover?
Teaching cover during maternity leave and parental leave is organised by the faculties. Please give plenty of advance notice to the teaching staff coordinators of your faculty and the module coordinators of your subjects regarding the planned periods of maternity leave and whether you want to work part-time during your parental leave. It is important for both of them to know which tasks you want to hand over by when and whether you want to move lectures and examinations forward.
Who will stand in for me?
Colleagues and fellow lecturers will usually take over your teaching duties. You are welcome to tell the teaching staff coordinators who you would like to stand in for you.
How do I apply for family allowance (Kindergeld)?
Submit your application for family allowance to the Family Benefits Department of HTW Berlin. Please also submit your child’s birth certificate. The monthly family allowance will be paid together with your salary. You will not receive a family allowance if you are a citizen of another EU country, the EEA or Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Kosovo, Switzerland or Turkey. Information about the family allowance and Family Benefits Departments can be found on the internet.
What happens with my performance-related bonuses after parental leave?
At HTW Berlin lecturers retain any previous performance-related bonuses after maternal leave and parental leave.
Will my contract be extended by the period of maternity leave and parental leave?
Upon application, fixed-term posts and fixed-term employment contracts of lecturers can be extended by the period of time in which gainful employment does not take place, providing there are no conflicting operational reasons (section 95 of the Berlin Higher Education Act, BerlHG).
Can I accept a teaching contract while I am on parental leave?
You can accept teaching contracts while you are on parental leave. The income from the teaching contract will be taken into account when calculating your parental allowance. If you do not have a place at a day care centre for your child yet, you are entitled to childcare during the lecture times including preparation and follow-up work. Childcare will be provided by our cooperation partner Die Kinderwelt GmbH and is available for up to four hours at a time.
Do I have to offer modules late in the afternoon or in the evening?
Professors and lecturers with family obligations can talk to the teaching coordinators to receive preferential module times.
What do I need to do when my child is ill?
If your child is ill and is aged 12 or under, you are entitled to care for your child. Please submit the original medical certificate to the HR Department. For civil servants (Beamte), Section 1 (1) no. 4 b) of the Special Leave Ordinance (Sonderurlaubsverordnung) applies. You will be granted up to four work days of special leave in a calendar year with continued pay.