Pregnancy, maternity, paternity, breastfeeding


A pregnant woman is not obliged to spontaneously announce a pregnancy. During a job interview, she may not tell the truth should the question arise. The Equality Law prohibits any kind of discrimination against a candidate or an employee because of her pregnancy.

Announcing a pregnancy on time is nevertheless preferred for health protection reasons, and in particular to plan a replacement during maternity leave.

Pregnant women may not carry out dangerous or arduous tasks, unless a risk assessment has determined that there is no threat to both the health of the mother and the child, or that adequate protection measures have been taken (art. 62 OLT 1). By extension, this also applies to students.
The analysis to be undertaken concerns:

  • the dangers to an expectant mother in her place of work;
  • how risks can be avoided;
  • tasks that are prohibited during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Are you pregnant?
Please quickly contact the Safety, Prevention and Health Office (DSPS) at EPFL, so that the necessary steps can be taken.


The Equality Law (LEg) prohibits any kind of discrimination – direct or indirect – of workers due to gender, based on their marital status or family situation or, in the case of women, their pregnancy.

The prohibition of discrimination applies in particular to hiring, assignment of tasks, planning of working conditions, remuneration, professional training and advanced training, promotion, and termination of working relationships.

Mothers benefit from a maternity leave of four months. All information on maternity leave at EPFL can be found on the Human Resources website.

Fathers benefit from a paid paternity leave of 10 days. More information on the Human Resources website.

In case of a child’s illness in his/her own household, if the presence of the parent is required: up to five days per calendar year.

In case of important school matters or medical examinations of children under 16 years of age, if the employee or collaborator assumes education: up to five days per calendar year.

More information on the Human Resources website.

Extension of the deadline for a PhD

To extend the time limit for your PhD, you can talk to the person at the Doctoral Students Office in charge of the doctoral program you are enrolled in.

An extension due to a maternity leave is usually granted automatically.

You will find information on family allowances on the Human Resources website.

Mothers must have the time needed for breastfeeding (art. 35a, para. 2, LTr). During the first year of the child’s life, the time taken for breastfeeding or expressing milk counts as paid working hours within the following limits (Article 60, para. 2, letters a to c, OLT 1):

  • for a working day of ≤ 4 h = 30 min.
  • for a working day of > 4 h = 60 min.
  • for a working day of > 7 h = 90 min.

The time necessary for breastfeeding is not regarded as a time of rest, and it cannot be deducted from either overtime or vacation time.

Need for rest and privacy:
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, female employees and students may, on request, use the infirmaries for rest or privacy. Information