Along with a pregnancy comes with a lot of preparations that must be made. In addition to learning useful nutrition tips for pregnant women, one of the most critical things you need to do is to imagine how to prepare for maternity leave at work. Fact is, it might be stressful to step out of your job for three months, in Western countries, and even six months, in some Asian countries, no matter how happy the occasion is. How could you be sure that you have well prepared everything around you for your absence? The following are must-do steps you need to take for your pregnancy period.
- Do Your Research
Yes. This is the first step you must do. And, reading this article also means that you are doing a part of the step. Other steps include finding out how many weeks you are entitled to take off for maternity leave. Depending on the type of birth you opt for, then there might be variations to this.
When doing your research, you will know your RIGHT. If you have worked in the U.S for more than 1 year, the Family & Medical Leave will allow you for 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a baby or an adopted or foster a child. Nevertheless, these laws just apply to companies containing 50 or more employees, so those start-ups o small businesses with smaller staffs might have some different expectations. Another fact that makes the maternity leave law more complicated is that it is pretty different from state to state, so as soon as possible, you should learn the law and the policies of your enterprise. In addition, you should also get the advice from other employees who had babies before you so you will be able to negotiate some specific terms of your own leave.
- Talk To Your Boss First
Well, most of women often share the news of their pregnancy with colleagues first. However, you should talk to your boss instead. And, once you intend to come back to work at the company, then making your announcement clear and emphasizing that you are committed staff who really wants to return is necessary. This initial conversation can navigate any complications that might arise.
- Talk To The Department Of Human Resources
Just make sure that you have your own office maternity leave approved officially on paper. There are a number of steps you need to take to warrant you will get the permitted leave. This will assure that there will be no surprise at work when you have baby. For instance, initially, you let some people in your office know that you are pregnant. That way, you have all the details as you break the news.
What you should do next is to supply the HR department with information. Obviously, you will not be able to offer them the precise date that your leave will start or end, you can give them a good idea based on your due date. In case there are some changes in the scheduled due during your pregnancy period, it is critical to keep HR in the loop.
- Get Buy In From Coworkers
The next step on how to prepare for maternity leave is to talk candidly with your colleagues, and let them know this is a chance for them to step up and assume the responsibilities that might have otherwise been months or even years away. In reality, there is a great difference between dumping work on other people and incorporating goals into people’s development plan. Just listen to all concerns and try to be open to the possibility of modifying your current plan if others express interest or show aptitude for a specific role.
- Communicate With Outside Stakeholders
If you are working in a field that involves in customer relationship, then this step is important for your future career. Once you have decided who will deal with your current outward-facing functions, particularly customer relationships, then reach out to the external parties as soon as you could. What you need to do is to spend time on introducing them to people who will contact with them during your absence period. Also, set a timeline to transfer the relationship. You work in tandem initially before handing off.
- Prepare Short Term Disability Insurance
This is perhaps the most vital factor when it comes to financially supporting your parent leave. Many employers also offer short term disability insurance to their employees. Some businesses merely provide the coverage to workers, with the employees responsible for paying part or all of their premiums. On the other hand, other enterprises offer short term disability for free, and might merely require workers to opt in. However, most policies only work if you are joined in the program before your pregnancy.
- Expect Changes
Nothing stays the same, particularly in business. As you return from your maternity leave, do not expect all things to be similar as it was before you left. Actually, there might be internal changes within your company, or market forces might have dramatically changed the way business is conducted. Even worse, the person who replaced for you did a much better job. Thus, the next tip on how to prepare for maternity leave at work is to expect the unexpected, mentally. Yet, remember that you always have a track record.
To conclude, the best thing you could do is to communicate your own demands as well as plans clearly. Just memorize to say “thanks” to everyone who positively helps you along the way.
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