Updated at: 04-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Preparing for maternity leave at work is an important question. It’s a wonderful opportunity for new mothers to spend quality time with their kids, but it’s not without its drawbacks, as new moms will quickly discover. You and your employer will both benefit from planning ahead of time.

The following are three suggestions for preparing for maternity leave at work:

  • Before you go, make sure you have all of your doctor’s appointments scheduled.
  • Before you begin your maternity leave, make sure you have all of your doctor’s appointments scheduled. This will ensure that your infant is thoroughly examined by doctors and that the insurance process goes as planned.

If necessary, talk to a lactation consultant or go to a breastfeeding clinic to get yourself and your baby ready.

Why You Should Develop a Plan

However, the fundamental objective for creating a maternity leave strategy is to guarantee that you and your family are not faced with any financial hardships while you are away from work, especially if some of your time off will be unpaid.

A 9-Month Guide To Preparing For A Smooth Maternity Leave

To ensure that you get the most out of your time with your new baby, make sure you have a strategy in place. The lack of clear norms for maternity leave management is also a problem. Therefore, preparing your coworkers, outsourcing your job, staying in touch with the office, and returning to work once your leave is over will all be on your plate.

Plan your leave carefully because this is a time to show your coworkers and superiors that you remain dedicated to your profession and the firm to which you have been employed.

When to Take Your Maternity Leave

A week to a month before the baby is due is an ideal time for some women to take maternity leave, while others prefer to wait until the baby is born. When it comes to maternity leave, some people wait until the last minute in order to get the most time with their newborns at home. Remember that the FMLA mandates that you give your employer 30 days’ notice before you intend to take leave for Family and Medical reasons.

Steps to Planning Your Leave

Short-term disability, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act all have a role to play in your maternity leave preparations. As an example, short-term disability insurance pays your salary, or at least a portion of it, for a limited period of time due to medical reasons.

Know Your Rights

It’s critical that you familiarize yourself with your legal maternity leave options as soon as possible. You can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid vacation under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if you have worked in the United States for at least one year. Only organizations with at least 50 employees are subject to these regulations. Due to the differences in expectations, smaller organizations may have a different set of goals.

It’s also vital to keep in mind that each state has its own maternity leave regulations. Pregnancy can be stressful enough without having to worry about how much time you can take off work to care for a newborn. Even if your organization doesn’t have any written requirements, find out what previous employees have done. Regardless of whether you work for a major corporation or a small one, you will still have to negotiate the terms of your maternity leave.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination against pregnant women, should also be familiarized with. Both the hiring process and the management of an existing employment situation fall under this category. However, despite the laws in place, people continue to take advantage of them.

Start a Conversation with Your Boss

As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, inform your manager immediately. Remember that as soon as someone finds out you’re expecting, you can bet that everyone else will, too. Therefore, you don’t want your boss to find out about your pregnancy from anybody but you.

Also, make it obvious that you intend to return to work as soon as possible. Stress your dedication to the company and reassure him that you will put together a well-thought-out maternity leave plan to keep the office running smoothly even while you’re away. Having this initial chat should be the beginning of a series of discussions about your maternity leave.

Ask an Expert

Make an appointment with a coworker who has already taken maternity leave to get their perspective on the process. She might be able to give you some advice based on her own experiences.

Questions like how she was handled during her pregnancy and whether or not returning to work went as planned can be brought up during this conversation. You’re trying to get some inside information that will help you write your plan.

Develop a Game Plan

To begin, decide out how much time you’d like to take off work and whether or not you have the funds to do so. However, it is possible that some portion of your maternity leave will not be reimbursed. In other words, you want to make sure you don’t run into any financial problems while you’re away.

The amount of time that you want to work during the first few weeks after your return and whether or not you wish to have the option of telecommuting are all considerations you should keep in mind while creating your strategy.

Make a list of your primary tasks next. Decide which jobs may be delegated to others and which cannot, such as those involving customer interactions or requiring specialized knowledge. Next, consider who could be willing to assume these duties while you are away. Consider hiring a temporary employee if you don’t already have someone on staff who can handle the work.

Get Your Co-Workers on Board

As soon as you have a general concept of how you’d like your maternity leave to be handled, it’s critical to get your coworkers on board. Do not hesitate to openly discuss with your subordinates the fact that this is an opportunity for them to step up and take on greater responsibilities.

The most important thing is to get your coworkers excited about the additional tasks and opportunities they’ll be taking on. Then, pay attention to what they say. Get to know them and see if they desire more or less responsibility, and then adjust your approach accordingly. It is important to keep in mind that not everyone is eager to take on new tasks. Be willing to adapt if necessary.

Communicate with Outside Clients

Reach out to your coworkers as soon as you know who will be taking care of your clients or any outside contacts. Make them feel safe and confident that they’ll still have your whole attention even if you’ll be away for a while.

A time to meet with the person who will be in charge of them while you are away should be scheduled. While you are still at work, you might introduce the two parties and gradually allow them to work together. You’ll be able to work out any kinks and make sure your customers are well taken care of this way.

Plan Regular Communication with the Office

Despite the fact that you can be away from the workplace for large swaths of the day while on leave, you still need to keep in touch with your coworkers. Make them feel safe and confident that if they have any questions, you’ll be there to answer them. Think about sending an email or making a quick phone call once a week, if that’s something you’re comfortable with.

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During your absence, be sure to keep your boss updated on your whereabouts and schedule. Be aware that returning to the workplace after a lengthy absence might be a difficult experience. Spend 30 minutes checking in and debriefing as a consequence. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Avoid Overcommitting

When it comes to caring for a newborn, most first-time mothers are startled by the amount of time and effort required. Maternity leave won’t feel like vacation, so don’t expect it to.

When you’re on maternity leave, you don’t want to make yourself too accessible to your supervisor or coworkers. As an alternative, if you’re worried about losing touch, try answering email at least once a day for the first few weeks after the kid is delivered. However, don’t commit to further work until you’ve had a chance to experience the joys and challenges of parenthood first hand.

Keep in mind that the most important thing for you right now is to get used to being a new mother and to develop a close relationship with your child.

Set Boundaries

The frequency with which your employees can reach you throughout their maternity leave should be clearly stated in your policy. It’s your decision whether or not you’d prefer to get a daily phone call or email from us. However, you should let them know if you’d prefer not to be contacted unless you request it.

You want to be sure that you’ve established clear rules for contacting you before you begin. Nothing could be worse than not hearing from the workplace until after your maternity leave has ended if that were to happen.

Look Into Child Care

The search for great child care may seem like it may take some time, but it will take much longer than you expect, so begin your search as soon as possible.

Make a surprise visit to the person or area you’ve been researching. You shouldn’t just assume that a place is a good place to work because you’ve heard good things about it. Even in these cases, you should always go with your intuition. If you don’t like the child care provider, don’t stay with them. Your return to work will be a difficult experience if you don’t find out what opportunities are out there for you to pursue.

A Word From Verywell

Pregnancy might be joyful, but preparing for your maternity leave can be stressful, especially if you’re also fully dedicated to your profession. In order to ensure that your supervisor understands your maternity leave plan, you need to make sure that it’s complete and well-written enough that it’s understandable and gives a clear plan for your absence.

How to Prepare for an Employee Going on Maternity Leave

Meet With the Expectant Parent

Congratulate your coworkers as soon as they tell you they’re expecting a child. An excellent time to set up a meeting between the employee and an HR professional to explain your company’s parental leave policy and address any worries your employee may have about their upcoming absence is now. Be ready to answer inquiries about your benefits and about the FMLA.

Document Daily Activities

To ensure an efficient training procedure for your parent’s temporary replacement, document their daily duties as soon as they announce their departure date. A full description of activities, processes, and routine deliverables, as well as key internal and external connections should be included in the document. Not only will this be useful in the event of an employee departure, but it will also be helpful in the event that they must leave work earlier than expected.

Reassign Work

Your employee’s task must be reallocated to another capable colleague or outsourced to a temporary worker before they go on maternity leave. Your departing employee’s main business tasks and non-critical activities should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to let them go. As a rule of thumb, it’s advisable to outsource non-critical operations like administrative work in order to minimize hazards to your organization. For a smooth transfer, new assignments should begin about a month before the employee is scheduled to leave.

Inform the Team

A schedule for your colleague’s absence should be communicated to the team as soon as you’ve agreed on leave terms with the expectant parent. The meeting should also include a discussion of process changes and new training requirements.

Return to Work

Make sure the employee has a plan in place to get back into the workforce after a time away from the office This has the potential to benefit both the employee and the company, resulting in lower employee churn and higher staff retention.

Strong teams are essential to the efficient running of businesses on a daily basis. A good maternity leave policy for companies allows you to focus on your business while your staff are off taking care of their new baby.

How does maternity leave work?

Regardless of how long you’ve worked for your employer, how many hours you work, or how much money you make, you are entitled to one year of unpaid leave. Statutory Maternity Leave consists of 26 weeks of Ordinary Maternity Leave and 26 weeks of Additional Maternity Leave (SML). You must notify your employer of your expected due date and the date you intend to begin maternity leave at least 15 weeks before your due date, but this deadline is flexible. You don’t have to provide a return date if you’re taking the whole 52 weeks. The only caveat is that if you need to return sooner, you must give eight weeks’ notice.

Starting 11 weeks before the due date, you can take as little as two weeks of maternity leave as you choose or as much as a year. It all relies on your unique circumstances when it comes to starting and how long it takes. Be honest with yourself about your feelings now, but don’t be afraid to change your mind after the birth of your child:

  • Is it physically possible for me to work until the day of my due date, and am I emotionally and mentally prepared for that?
  • How long am I able to afford to be absent from my job?
  • How long can I remain away from work without worrying about how it would affect my job or career?
  • With the help of my spouse might we find a way to divide parental leave in a way that works best for both of us?
  • It’s up to me how much time I want to spend at home with my baby.
  • Is there a plan in place for child care?
  • When will I be emotionally ready to return to work and leave my baby with someone else?

As a teacher, Katherine Dyer has taken two 11-month maternity leave periods. She opted to take maternity leave five weeks before her due date for her first child. Getting some’me time’ before the baby was due was important to her. A toddler at home made things a whole lot more difficult the second time around. As a result, my six-week vacation was more like a month and a half.

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Will I get paid?

Statutory Maternity Pay is available for 39 weeks. 90 percent of your average weekly pre-tax earnings are given to you for the first six weeks. After 33 weeks, it’s 90 percent of your average weekly earnings or £148.68 a week—whichever is lower—for the following three months (as of February 2020). The last 13 weeks of maternity leave are unpaid if you take the full 52 weeks of leave. To find out what you’re entitled to as a self-employed person, check out this page.

While you’re on maternity leave, your job benefits such as raises and vacation time are still in effect. Maternity compensation packages are also offered by many companies to supplement these figures. Fortunately for Katherine, she was in the position of being a teacher, but Laura Riley, the contracting manager of a travel agency, was not. In spite of the fact that she only received statutory salary, she opted to take a year off to spend time with her two children.

Getting back to work after a ten-month hiatus was only motivated by necessity for Lucy Rufus. “I left two weeks before my due date,” stated the government servant and mother of one. I was overjoyed to be invited. It was a scorcher of a summer this year. The unpaid leave was not an option, even though I was entitled to three months’ statutory salary and six months’ full pay.

How do I tell my boss?

Announcing your pregnancy at work can be nerve-wracking, especially if you have a good working relationship with your supervisor. Honesty and forthrightness are both virtues to strive for. Even if you’re expecting your first child at the height of your professional career, there’s no need to feel guilty or as if you’re abandoning everyone else. Almost three out of every four British moms are now employed, so businesses are well-versed in dealing with demands for maternity leave.

The Handover

Giving up control and allowing someone else to take your place can be nerve-wracking. They’ll be able to do a better job than I can? Or will they ruin everything I’ve fought so hard to achieve? Try to recruit your maternity cover yourself; you are the best person to know who has the skills to complete the job properly. Is there an actual danger to your job? Some 11 per cent of mothers reported being fired, made redundant, or treated so severely that they had to leave their jobs in a recent Equality and Human Rights Commission research. It’s critical to understand your legal options if you find yourself in this situation.

The smoother the handover will go, the more time you give yourself. You’ll have less to clean up after your replacement if you leave detailed notes for them to follow. If you can, set aside some time for onboarding and introduce your new hires to their coworkers and clients if possible.

You may have to tell a lot of people that you’re taking maternity leave. Keep track of the people you need to email and tell them who to get in touch with instead.

Keeping in touch days

You’re allowed to work up to ten “Keeping in Touch” (Kit) days before your leave or pay expires. These are a terrific method to remain up to date on everything that’s going on. Mum-of-two “I felt uncomfortable leaving the first time because I’d always been so focused on work,” Laura said. When I first tried to unplug, I was unable to do so. Some of my coworkers kept in touch with me via email, phone, and so on, and I attended their “Keeping in Touch Days.”

Getting company-wide emails delivered to an address you routinely check—and making sure you get all the information and are invited to staff socials—is also recommended by Yassen Soussi, HR director at creative agency 1000.

Will I get bored?

The idea of not having a job may sound appealing, but it is a major lifestyle shift. Some new moms jump right into baby groups and coffee dates, while others like to establish their own goals and see how far they can go. Lucy revealed, “I studied Arabic.” “I didn’t sit around and talk to newborns.” In light of the fact that her civil service job might not be available when she returned, Lucy decided to take a look at her other career options. She said, “I knew I would never get this opportunity again to shape my career.” Every person I’d ever wanted to meet was contacted and invited for a cup of coffee. It was energizing to see that my resume was getting me noticed. Even though I didn’t have much time, I had more time to contemplate.”

Many women believe that having a child is the perfect opportunity to reevaluate their professional goals. Little Clogs Holidays co-owner and mother of two Laura decided not to return to work after giving birth to her second child. After so much travel, “I realized I couldn’t return to my old position,” she said. “It was the perfect time to take stock and think about what to do.” A ‘light-bulb moment’ occurred to me after searching unsuccessfully for a toddler vacation and ending up in Belgium to visit my partner’s family, that these areas are fantastic for small children and that not enough people know about them!'” So I decided to form a company with a friend, Little Clogs. I had a lot of fun putting together a new project and learning new abilities.”

Even if being a mumpreneur or learning Arabic aren’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to keep your mind active, such as listening to podcasts about your field or simply curling up with a good book. The most important thing to remember is to treat yourself well. This time off is well-earned. After years of working in an office, it can be lonely at home all day, so take some time to relax and socialize. Oh, and don’t forget about your newest addition. This time with your new baby is fleeting, so take advantage of it. After your maternity leave ends, you’ll be returning to work, but don’t worry; it will feel like you’ve never had time off.


What do you say to your boss before maternity leave?

Something like: I’m thrilled to inform you that I’m expecting a child. Before I take maternity leave, I’m planning to work through [your due date].

When should I tell my employer about maternity leave?

Even if you have less than 15 weeks until your due date, you should contact your employer as soon as possible. In the event that you were unable to give notice in time, you are still eligible to take maternity leave.

How do you mentally prepare for maternity leave?

Use your maternity leave to get your mind in the right frame of mind before returning to work as a mother. This is something you should consider writing about in your notebook and discussing with other parents, particularly those working moms you may know in person or those you may have met online.

Should I tell my boss I’m pregnant at 6 weeks?

Do I tell my boss at the right time? You can work while pregnant, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. There is no legal requirement that you inform your employer of your pregnancy at a specified period.

How long do you have to be back at work to get maternity pay again?

It’s a good idea to verify your contract to see if this is included. Some employers may mandate that you take at least four weeks off after the birth of your child if you have taken more than 26 weeks of leave. When they return to work, maternity benefits will be discontinued, and the employee will be entitled to statutory paternity or shared parental leave in their place.

What’s the maximum maternity leave?

For the most part, maternity leave lasts 12 weeks. Depending on business policy, this could be increased to 18 or 20. A set number of paid maternity leave days are guaranteed in several nations, depending on the country and the length of work at the firm.

For instance, working women in Estonia are entitled to 112-days of parental benefit during pregnancy and 166 hours of work following childbirth as compensation (or adoption).

Philippines offers 100% pay for 60 days within six months postpartum under Republic Act No. 10364, also known as “An Act Expanding the Benefits Granted Under R.A 6972,” also known as Paid Maternity Leave Law. An extra 30 unpaid leaves are also guaranteed under this law.

The same cannot be said for other countries such as Canada and Japan, where there is no assurance of paid maternity leave.

Does Canada take 14 months of maternity leave?

Pregnancy leave in Canada is 15 weeks long.

If she is breastfeeding for a prolonged amount of time, she may be able to extend her stay by another 15-20 weeks. Parental benefits refer to the additional maternity leave that both parents are entitled to.

Sick days are another benefit available to all Canadian employees in the event that their child becomes ill while they are at work.

Because of the death of a child, this regulation does not apply when an employee leaves the company owing to a disability or receives severance compensation from CPP Disability Insurance (CPPDI). Regardless of how long a person has been employed with the organization, their employment will be considered terminated after 13 weeks if they do not return to work for this reason.

How much time off do I get for maternity leave?

The first 52 weeks of a kid’s life are a right granted to parents who give birth to a child. The first two weeks of a child’s life are referred to as “maternity leave,” while the subsequent 50 weeks are referred to as “parental leave.”.

Vacation and sick leave can be taken during this time if accrued by employees throughout their employment with a company.

Employers, on the other hand, often insist that employees use up all of their personal time off before being eligible to take advantage of any family medical leave. In some states, specific types of employment protection benefits may be required by certain firms over others.

As an example, in California, pregnant women are entitled to disability pay in addition to their usual salary when they are confined to their beds due to their pregnancy (leave). Employers face fines or lawsuits if they don’t comply with the legislation.

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Is it illegal to contact an employee on maternity leave?

In France, it is against the law to make contact with an employee who is on maternity leave.

Do you get paid for KIT days when on maternity leave?

If you’re on maternity leave, you’ll get paid for any KIT days that weren’t previously. It’s illegal for your employer to not pay for these days when you’re away from work, and you should report it to ACAS or the appropriate tribunal service.

You may also wish to consult an employment lawyer to determine whether or not this is owed to you. At the very least, it will take some time before you receive any compensation from employers who violate their legal obligations in this area.

How can I make money while on maternity leave?

In order to begin, you must first determine how much money you wish to spend. Having this information will help you decide what type of work to apply for and what your long-term career aspirations will be. Your parents may not be able to assist you as much as they would like if the amount requested is unrealistic (or thought they could).

Even if you earn $20 an hour at work, a one-month maternity leave income of $600 is certainly out of the question unless you can secure another part-time employment or a side gig.

After doing some research, I came across a website called The Penny Hoarder that provides several ways mothers can earn extra money while on maternity leave without sacrificing their time with their new kid!

Moms who want to work from home, find a job with flexible hours, and even come up with inventive methods to make some extra money on the side may find all of this and more in this comprehensive guide!

How do I announce my pregnant wife at work?

Write a memo to your coworkers to let them know you’re expecting a new addition to the team. List the due date as the start date for the newest member, and observe who joins before the due date comes (probably the co-workers with children will be the first to figure it out).

Can you be denied maternity leave?

Employees who are pregnant or have just given birth are protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, a federal legislation that prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant employees. Because of this law, an employer can’t reject to hire a candidate because she’s pregnant or has a condition associated with pregnancy.

Can an employer refuse maternity leave?

You have no say in whether or whether your employees take maternity leave, and you have no say in how long they take.

Is feeling lonely on maternity leave normal?

A British Red Cross research found that 83% of mothers under the age of 30 reported feeling lonely at least some of the time, and 43% reported feeling lonely all of the time. Nine out of ten new mothers report feeling lonely since giving birth, and more over half (54 percent) believe they have no friends.