Updated at: 24-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

There are several practical and legal considerations for women who are deciding whether or not to return to work when their maternity leave ends. Of course, money is the most important consideration: To what extent can you keep your family financially secure while also obtaining health insurance? Do you have enough money saved up for a long period of time? Is it possible that your time off will affect your future job prospects?

Your legal rights and obligations as a new parent when you leave your employment are crucial considerations as you work through these difficult financial decisions.

There are several practical and legal considerations for women who are deciding whether or not to return to work when their maternity leave ends. Of course, money is the most important consideration: To what extent can you keep your family financially secure while also obtaining health insurance? Do you have enough money saved up for a long period of time? Is it possible that your time off will affect your future job prospects?

Advice on Going Back to Work after Maternity Leave

Your legal rights and obligations as a new parent when you leave your employment are crucial considerations as you work through these difficult financial decisions.

Are New Parents Entitled to Accommodations?

After having a baby, many women are unable or unwilling to give up their jobs. Of course, there are those women who enjoy their careers so much that they wish to continue working while they raise their families. If you’re like some other women, you’re worried about how taking a longer sabbatical from work might affect your income and future job opportunities. To achieve a better work-family life balance, you could discuss your alternatives with your employer.

If an employer offers part-time work or flexible scheduling, they are not legally required to accommodate parents. Many states compel employers to accommodate pregnant employees’ physical limitations, however this privilege typically expires following the delivery of a child. Your state’s law may determine whether or not you are eligible for accommodations related to your pregnancy, such as if you were injured during childbirth.

You may not discriminate based on a protected feature if your organization provides similar accommodations to other employees for non-discriminatory reasons. For example, a corporation can’t allow new fathers to work part-time but not new mothers. The same may not be true for a corporation that habitually permits employees to return to school or follow their interests.

Negotiating reasonable accommodations is always an option, even if your firm is not required to provide them. Temporary part-time work, shift scheduling changes that allow for better child care management (such as earlier or later arrival or departure times, working more or fewer days, and so on), doing some of your work from home or limiting business travel may be possible if the alternative is to lose a valued employee. Asking is always a good idea.

Can I Quit During or After Maternity Leave?

Legal considerations must be taken into account even if you have decided to leave your job. The first thing you need to know is that unless you have an employment contract that restricts your freedom to quit, you are entirely free to leave your work. If they don’t return to work after promising that they would, some women are afraid that they may be sued. As far as most women are concerned, this is more of a practical and moral issue than a legal one. You have the right to leave your job unless you are contractually obligated to do so (for example, because you signed a five-year employment contract but are only in year two of the position).

Nevertheless, there may be legal repercussions for resigning, such as:

  • You won’t be able to claim unemployment benefits. Only individuals who lose their jobs are eligible for unemployment compensation, not those who choose to leave their jobs. A healthy newborn will disqualify you from unemployment benefits in many states, even if you are able to leave your job for a compelling personal reason.
  • Health insurance premiums may be refunded to you. Health insurance benefits were legally supposed to continue while you were on maternity leave as a result of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Your employer has the right to demand compensation for any money it spent to maintain your health coverage in place if you opt not to return from your absence. If you didn’t pay your half of the premium and the company paid it for you, you’ll have to pay back both the company’s and your share of the premium. However, if you return to work for more than 30 days, you are not entitled to compensation. Similar payment provisions are included in the family leave statutes of several states.

Make sure you understand how quitting will effect your other benefits by checking your company’s handbook. When you retire, for example, will you have access to all of your vested benefits? Is a signing bonus refundable in full or in part? It’s important to know what the restrictions are when it comes to business property like a car or a laptop. Before you make a final decision, you’ll need to know all of the implications of quitting.

How to Quit While on Maternity Leave

The technicalities of quitting, such as how much notice to provide and how to explain your choice will need to be worked out once you’ve decided to go. Two weeks of notice is a common practice, although you aren’t compelled to give any notice at all.

Your choices here will rely on what kind of connection you hope to have with your employer and how you believe your employer will respond… It is best to give your company as much notice as possible so that they can find a new employee and plan for the future. If you need a reference for a new job in the future, this could be the greatest option for you.

On the other hand, if you give your employer notice that you will not be returning to work, they are free to terminate your employment and find someone else. Your employer is obligated to return you to your previous position once your absence is over, but if you give notice that you will not be returning to work, this obligation is over. You may lose access to health insurance and other benefits, as well as any paid leave programs given by your company. However, if you choose for COBRA, you’ll be responsible for the full cost of your health insurance if you choose this option.) As a result, many employees are reluctant to give notice in advance because they believe it is too hazardous.

In this case, you must decide how to balance your financial needs with what you know about your employer and what you believe is the correct course of action. You should strive to provide notice to your employer face-to-face and emphasize the positive aspects of the position. Maintaining a great working relationship with your former employer is especially important if you want to keep your professional ties and may require a reference in the future.

How To Write a Resignation Letter After Maternity Leave

Being a first-time parent can drive you to reevaluate both your personal and professional goals and aspirations. You can write a resignation letter to your employer if you decide that returning to work after maternity leave is not the best option for you at this time. Explain why you’re leaving the company, thank them for the opportunity, and lay out any plans you have to make the transition as smooth as possible. We’ll look at what a resignation letter after maternity leave is, why you should submit one, and an example and form to help you get started.

What is a resignation letter after maternity leave?

After spending time with your newborn kid, you may wish to submit a resignation letter to your employer. This letter serves as an official record of your resignation from your position(s) at the company.

The experience of maternity leave may prompt some new parents to reconsider their personal and professional life, so they choose not to return to the workforce at the end of it. If you’re a new parent, you may decide to leave your work for a variety of reasons, including the expense of child care, the desire to stay at home with your child, or the chance to pursue a different career path.

Why is it important to send a resignation letter after maternity leave?

In order to give your employer adequate notice and explain your intentions to depart, you should draft and provide a resignation letter once you return from maternity leave. Your determination to maintain excellent relations with your company and your professionalism are demonstrated when you submit a resignation letter to your employer. If you decide to return to the organization in the future, this can be really helpful.

How to write a resignation letter after maternity leave

Your letter of resignation should be succinct, complete, and pertinent. Employers can more quickly examine and comprehend your resume by using this method. To formally quit following a maternity leave, follow these steps:

1. Think about why you’re resigning from the position.

You should put together a list of the reasons why you’re departing before you begin to write your resignation letter. This list can be used as a brief explanation of why you’re leaving, if wanted, once you’re confident in your argument. In order to boost your self-confidence and self-assurance while resigning from a job, think about why you’re doing it and what you want to accomplish in your life.

Why you should work part-time after maternity leave

2. Start with a formal greeting.

You should begin the letter with a polite greeting that includes the name of your supervisor, HR manager, or any other employee who will be reading the letter. Greetings like “Dear Ms. Smith” or “Hello, Mr. Daniels” can be used to begin a conversation. Personalization and professionalism are maintained using this approach.

3. State your purpose for writing.

The first paragraph of your letter should describe why you’re writing it. First, state that you’ve resigned from your existing position. This helps the reader get a sense of the letter’s purpose as soon as they start reading it.

4. Include your final employment date.

Include the precise date of your last day of work once you’ve stated your reason for writing. Include a date two weeks after the date you’re sending your letter if you plan to stay on for two more weeks to help with the transition. Employers can better prepare for your absence if you do this. Additionally, HR personnel require this date in order to include it in your personnel file.

5. Provide brief reasoning for your resignation.

Although it isn’t customary, you’re free to provide a brief note outlining your reasons for departing. To assist the employer understand and support you at this difficult time, include this portion in your letter of resignation.

6. Offer your assistance during the transition.

If you want to make sure that your transition is easy for them to adjust to, offer to help. As a result of your lengthy maternity leave, you may have already worked with your coworkers to devise a strategy for a smooth transition back into the workforce. You can still help out in any way possible to make your long-term absence more bearable. As part of this, you may want to volunteer to sit in on the hiring process or train your successor.

7. Thank your manager for the opportunity.

You should end your essay with a declaration of thanks for the opportunity to work for the organization. Make sure to thank your employer for the chance and let them know you’d like to depart on good terms by submitting a letter of recommendation. In your cover letter, you can emphasize a positive trait or experience you got from the job. Make a final statement, sign the letter, and include your name in the recipient’s address book.

Tips for writing an effective resignation letter after maternity leave

When you’re ready to quit from your job after maternity leave, follow these tips:

Consider discussing your decision in person or over the phone.

Consider emailing your resignation letter to your supervisor or HR manager while you’re still on maternity leave and asking if they’d like to talk about it in person or over the phone. This provides you a chance to describe your argument in detail to help them better comprehend why you’re resigning from your position. It’s also a good opportunity for them to ask you any additional questions they may have to ensure a smooth transition.

Include proper formatting.

Please double-check the format of your letter before sending it. Fonts like Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman should be used at an 11- or 12-point size. Single-spaced text with one-inch margins is the standard.

Proofread your document

Reread your letter after you’ve finished typing it to make sure it’s free of spelling and grammar mistakes. To be sure you haven’t missed anything, read it aloud. Asking a friend or coworker to look it through might be a good idea. Ask them to double-check that the content is relevant and error-free.

Resignation letter after maternity leave template

In order to craft an effective letter of resignation following your time away from work due to motherhood, use this sample as a guide.

Hello, [Your employer’s name].

[State that you’re resigning from your position and the name of the company in your letter of resignation]. [Select the date of your final workday.] Because of [briefly explain your reasons for quitting, if desired].

[Offer your help in facilitating a smooth transition.] Thank you for the opportunity to work with you.

Sincerely,

First and last name, please.

Resignation letter after maternity leave example

You can use this sample resignation letter to help you write a succinct, informative letter to your employer:

Greetings Jordan Taylor,

Brand Solutions Inc.’s account manager position will be filled by someone else effective Dec. 20, 2020, two weeks from today. Because of my recent childbirth in late October, I have chosen that the best option for our family is to stay home and care for them.

For the following two weeks, I intend to return to work to aid with the transition. For significant initiatives, the hiring process, and the onboarding of my successor, I’ll be available to answer questions. This is an honor to be working for your organization, and I truly appreciate it. It’s been a blast working with such an energetic group for the past three years.

Sincerely,

Theodore Parker, Jr.

FAQs

How long after returning from maternity leave can I quit?

In the absence of a contract or the Family Medical Leave Act, you are free to leave your employment at any moment while on maternity leave. You shall be held to the terms of your contract for early termination if you quit your position while under contract. In order to qualify for maternity leave under the FMLA, you must work a minimum of 30 days.

What happens if I quit my job after maternity leave?

The majority of the time, you won’t face any ramifications for quitting your job following a maternity leave. However, if a worker takes FMLA leave within 30 days of returning to work, they may have to pay back their insurance payments. Employees who are hired on a contract basis are nevertheless held to the terms of their agreement.

Employees who aren’t covered by FMLA or on a contract basis can leave at any moment without penalty.

For the duration of their contract, contract employees are obligated to carry out the work they were hired to do. As an example, if you’re in the second year of a three-year contract, you can’t leave. If you want to end the contract early, there may be stipulations in the contract.

Do I have to pay back maternity pay if I resign?

If your maternity leave was covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, your employer may demand that you reimburse them for the insurance premiums you paid (FMLA). If you work for 30 days or more after maternity leave, you don’t have to pay back the FMLA premiums. If you are not covered by FMLA and decide to leave your job, you owe nothing.

Keep in mind that the corporation has the option of collecting the insurance premiums for early termination. You are obligated to repay the insurance company as well as your own premiums.

Premiums for insurance are not inexpensive. As a result, waiting at least 30 days before quitting your work is usually the best course of action.

Can you go on unemployment after maternity leave?

If you’re sacked from your job during your maternity leave, you’ll be able to apply for unemployment benefits. However, if you resign while on maternity leave, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits may be available in some states for legitimate reasons.

It’s possible that when you return to work after a maternity leave, your position has already been filled by another employee. You should be eligible to receive unemployment benefits because the firm made you leave your job against your will.

You can’t just walk away from your work and expect to get unemployment benefits without a good reason. Unemployment benefits are meant to help those who have unexpected or unusual circumstances that have resulted in a reduction in their income.

Usually, resigning because you don’t want to work or stay at home with your children isn’t enough of a reason for you to do so.

When applying for unemployment benefits, it is important to examine the rules in your state. In some states, unemployment benefits are given out for a worthwhile purpose. The following is an example of a solid justification for doing so:

  1. You left your job to take a new one.
  2. A member of your family or yourself become ill or infirmed.
  3. You’re guarding yourself against domestic abuse or stalking. You’re doing this to protect yourself.
  4. Your working conditions have been altered, and you’ve seen a decrease in your salary or hours.
  5. An unsafe or unlawful activity is taking place at work.

What happens if I’m forced to resign after maternity leave?

If you’re forced to leave your job following your maternity leave, you can file for unemployment benefits. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a case for pregnant discrimination against your employer. If your hours were reduced, your position was changed, or you were fired following maternity leave, you should seek the advice of a lawyer.

When to tell your boss you’re not returning from maternity leave?

After returning from maternity leave covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, you should not resign from your employment for at least 30 days. Companies should complete their work or revise their contract terms if they want to break it. Maternity leave does not prevent you from resigning from your employment at any point.

Returning From Maternity Leave Can Be A Burden Or An Opportunity | by Ruth Henderson | The Startup | Medium

A month off from work would be the most considerate thing you could do. Despite the fact that two weeks’ notice isn’t needed, most employers appreciate it.

What happens if I’m on maternity leave and get pregnant again?

There is nothing unusual about getting pregnant while on maternity leave. Your next child’s birth will entitle you to additional maternity leave. If you ask for a second maternity leave, your company can’t say no.

Are New Parents Entitled to Accommodations?

After having a baby, many women are unable or unwilling to give up their jobs. Of course, there are those women who enjoy their careers so much that they wish to continue working while they raise their families. If you’re like some other women, you’re worried about how taking a longer sabbatical from work might affect your income and future job opportunities. To achieve a better work-family life balance, you could discuss your alternatives with your employer.

If an employer offers part-time work or flexible scheduling, they are not legally required to accommodate parents. Many states compel employers to accommodate pregnant employees’ physical limitations, however this privilege typically expires following the delivery of a child. Your state’s law may determine whether or not you are eligible for accommodations related to your pregnancy, such as if you were injured during childbirth.

You may not discriminate based on a protected feature if your organization provides similar accommodations to other employees for non-discriminatory reasons. For example, a corporation can’t allow new fathers to work part-time but not new mothers. The same may not be true for a corporation that habitually permits employees to return to school or follow their interests.

Negotiating reasonable accommodations is always an option, even if your firm is not required to provide them. Temporary part-time work, shift scheduling changes that allow for better child care management (such as earlier or later arrival or departure times, working more or fewer days, and so on), doing some of your work from home or limiting business travel may be possible if the alternative is to lose a valued employee. Asking is always a good idea.

Can I Quit During or After Maternity Leave?

Legal considerations must be taken into account even if you have decided to leave your job. The first thing you need to know is that unless you have an employment contract that restricts your freedom to quit, you are entirely free to leave your work. If they don’t return to work after promising that they would, some women are afraid that they may be sued. As far as most women are concerned, this is more of a practical and moral issue than a legal one. You have the right to leave your job unless you are contractually obligated to do so (for example, because you signed a five-year employment contract but are only in year two of the position).

Nevertheless, there may be legal repercussions for resigning, such as:

  • You won’t be able to claim unemployment benefits. Only individuals who lose their jobs are eligible for unemployment compensation, not those who choose to leave their jobs. A healthy newborn will disqualify you from unemployment benefits in many states, even if you are able to leave your job for a compelling personal reason.
  • Health insurance premiums may be refunded to you. Health insurance benefits were legally supposed to continue while you were on maternity leave as a result of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Your employer has the right to demand compensation for any money it spent to maintain your health coverage in place if you opt not to return from your absence. If you didn’t pay your half of the premium and the company paid it for you, you’ll have to pay back both the company’s and your share of the premium. However, if you return to work for more than 30 days, you are not entitled to compensation. Similar payment provisions are included in the family leave statutes of several states.

Make sure you understand how quitting will effect your other benefits by checking your company’s handbook. When you retire, for example, will you have access to all of your vested benefits? Is a signing bonus refundable in full or in part? It’s important to know what the restrictions are when it comes to business property like a car or a laptop. Before you make a final decision, you’ll need to know all of the implications of quitting.

How to Quit While on Maternity Leave?

The technicalities of quitting, such as how much notice to provide and how to explain your choice will need to be worked out once you’ve decided to go. Two weeks of notice is a common practice, although you aren’t compelled to give any notice at all.

Your choices here will rely on what kind of connection you hope to have with your employer and how you believe your employer will respond… It is best to give your company as much notice as possible so that they can find a new employee and plan for the future. If you need a reference for a new job in the future, this could be the greatest option for you.

On the other hand, if you give your employer notice that you will not be returning to work, they are free to terminate your employment and find someone else. Your employer is obligated to return you to your previous position once your absence is over, but if you give notice that you will not be returning to work, this obligation is over. You may lose access to health insurance and other benefits, as well as any paid leave programs given by your company. However, if you choose for COBRA, you’ll be responsible for the full cost of your health insurance if you choose this option.) As a result, many employees are reluctant to give notice in advance because they believe it is too hazardous.

In this case, you must decide how to balance your financial needs with what you know about your employer and what you believe is the correct course of action. You should strive to provide notice to your employer face-to-face and emphasize the positive aspects of the position. Maintaining a great working relationship with your former employer is especially important if you want to keep your professional ties and may require a reference in the future.

Summary: Quitting job after maternity leave

After maternity leave, it is quite acceptable to resign from your position. A contract employee, however, must keep an eye out for FMLA regulations or other contract stipulations.

You must return to work 30 days after your maternity leave ends under the Family Medical Leave Act. To avoid paying insurance payments, you must work at least 30 days in a row.

Employees on a contract basis have signed a legally binding agreement that expires at some point in the future. Midway through signing a contract, unless there is an agreement that allow you to do so, you cannot terminate it.

If your employer alters your employment contract, reduces your hours, or fires you following your maternity leave, you may be out of work. Consult, however, with the criteria for unemployment in your state. You will not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit your job for personal reasons.

After a month back at work, inform your supervisor that you are resigning. If you’re not on FMLA or a contract employee, you have the option of resigning at any moment. To be considerate, though, you should extend your shifts and give two weeks’ notice.

You can get pregnant while on maternity leave, as long as it doesn’t affect your job. If you have another kid, your employer should extend your maternity leave.