10 Things To Do Before Going On Maternity Leave
So you got two pink lines on that stick. CONGRATULATIONS! Once the list of phone calls and giddy messages to loved ones has been done, you will need to inform your Employer of your pregnancy.
Once your managers have approved on your maternity leave plan, it’s time to plan on how to best make sure your work still runs smoothly in your absence.
A checklist will help you plan things in such a way that will prevent you returning to chaos. Here is a checklist of 10 things that should be checked off the list before going on maternity leave.
1. Make a list of your most recent projects.
This will make it easier for the people covering you in your absence to transition into the project and continue from where you left off. As you document your projects you should also try to bring as many projects as close to an end as possible. The more projects you close off before you leave, the less you will have to stress about while you are gone.
2. Learn about your company’s policies on childcare.
Find out if your company offers on-site childcare or back-up childcare. Before you go on maternity leave is the best time to get this information from your employers. You may find that your employers have a relationship with childcare/nanny agencies that may even offer you an employee discount.
3. Brief your co-workers.
Dedicate time to teach those who will be covering for you, and to introduce them to your key contacts. Your co-workers who will be covering you need to know in advance that they will be required to take on more responsibilities. They also need know which additional responsibilities they’ll be taking on.
4. Negotiate the duration of your leave.
As you are planning how much time to take off work, do your research on how to negotiate your maternity leave. Make sure you have some concrete proposals based on the guidelines for your employer.
5. Plan for your return back to work.
You could explore the option of phased-in re-entry and flexible work times. Now is the best time to ask your employers. You could also ask to try it on a trial basis to help your employer feel comfortable. Remember, Maternity is fascinating new chapter for you, but your employer deals with the set backs involved in losing a valuable employee for a while.
6. Develop a communication plan
This plan can outline whether and when you plan to check in. Include your contact information and instruction on when and how you can be contacted in case of emergencies. You could also get contact information from someone at the office who can keep you in the loop with any big changes that may happen while you’re away.
7. Inform regular clients and customers.
If you have regular customers and clients call and inform them that you will be unavailable for a period of time. You could even inform them of the person who will be covering you in your absence (if necessary).
8. Make a list of your leave and return to work goals
Document all the things you’ve done to ensure that your work continues smoothly in your absence. Share this information with your manager and tell her about how you might build maternity leave planning into your goals and your evaluation process.
9. Set up your computer and devices for remote working
Make arrangements with your IT department to set you up for remote working (in case of emergencies and you need to send certain documents or emails). Test the remote setup at home to make sure there are no issues.
10. Set up your office email auto-reply
Remember to include either a list of appropriate contacts or a designated person that customers and clients can contact in your absence.
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