Return From Maternity Leave

Returning from maternity leave can be a bit daunting so as an employer you should make sure that this return is as smooth as possible.
You should ensure that the employee feels supported and welcomed back to the team. You also might want to update them on any changes that have happened in their absence and on any new policies and procedures. Also maybe ask them what they need to help feel settled back in to the workplace. At this present time it is also important that you update them with any changes in the workplace relating to Covid-19.
There are some policies that might be useful for parents.
Parental Leave
Parental Leave, which is unpaid, can be requested to deal with planned events such as such as settling children into a new child care arrangement.  An employee needs to have one year’s qualifying service and then they have the right to take up to 18 weeks unpaid leave until the child’s 18th birthday. Parents must give 21 days’ notice if they wish to take this leave.
Emergency Leave for Dependents
This is used to deal with an emergency such as an unexpected incident at a child’s school. It cannot be used for a situations such as a planned hospital visit with a child.
A member of staff should be allowed a reasonable time off to deal with the emergency. Please note that this applies not only to parents but to any staff dealing with a dependent.
Flexible Working
A new parent (or indeed any member of staff) might want to request a change to their working pattern such as a change to their working hours. 
All employees have the right to make a flexible working request as long as they have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks.  The distinction to be aware of is that the employee does not have to the right to work flexibly but does have the right to formally request to work flexibly.
For more information and detail on these policies please contact the HR team on 0117 9702755
Other things which might be useful:
Sickness – if a child is off sick and the parent needs to look after them you must advise the employee that they cannot take sickness absence leave and will need to cover this in some other way e.g. annual leave, make the time up.
Childcare- this link which gives advice on tax free childcare and free childcare might be useful to pass on
If you would like any further information please contact the HR team on 0117 9702 755 or e-mail Pauline

By: | 30th June 2021 | blog