Important:Don’t Start your Maternity Leave before Doing this

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Prepare At Work for Maternity Leave

Start planning for your maternity well ahead of time. Be versatile on the day to start your leave and rely more on convenience. There is no specific day, week or month that is best for starting leave. It might be fore delivery or waiting out till delivery to start your leave.

Things to Do Before Starting Maternity Leave

If you are pregnant, you are anticipating the delivery of your baby when due and subsequently going into maternity leave. However before you can start your leave, you need to prepare by setting up your finances, clearing off your office desk, transitioning your replacement and generally handing over your office.

Some of the most important thing you need to do in preparation of your maternity leave include;

1. Set up your Finances

Whether you are going on a paid maternity leave or not, you need to have a financial plan at home. Bringing in a new member to the family will need you to have huge financial savings.

As such one important thing you need to do well ahead of maternity leave at home is create a financial fund for delivery and sustaining you and the infant during the maternity leave period. It is crucial if you are going into unpaid leave and will not receive any salary during this period.

You can create the fund by saving up your salary or getting financial help from your partner. Draw an estimate of all delivery and infant related costs and come up with a target figure to fill before you can start your maternity leave.

Read: How to Prepare Financially for a Second Child

2. Clear Pending Work at Office

Preparing for maternity leave at work by clearing pending work is very important both for you and your employer. It will ensure a smooth transition from work to maternity leave by attending to the most sensitive work. Also, it ensures that you enjoy your maternity leave without work calls from the office seeking work clarification or making inquiries.

If you have any pending work, you should create a timeline and plan to finish it before starting your maternity leave. It is important that you are able to clear on any urgent matter, especially if that work is dependent on you.

Look at how much work you have pending and the amount of time you need to complete them. Then start to periodically work on these projects as you near the start of your maternity leave. By the last day, before your leave, you should have managed to clear off projects that needed your urgent attention.

Read: How to Avoid Work Calls during Maternity Leave

3. Train and Transition your Coverage

As you near to start your maternity leave, you need to ensure that there is a competent person who will cover you and your work when you go on leave. In preparation for maternity leave, set up adequate and quality time to ensure that you have fully trained your coverage on handling your duties.

As you train your coverage, slowly transition them into your work. Allow them to handle your tasks under your supervision to see where they need help. With time, they will be competent enough to manage your work once you leave. It is a very important step in getting ready for maternity leave at work.

It is very important to prepare your team about the expected change. They may have to report to a different person and you should plan on introducing this person to them. You may need to also delegate some work to your team until you are back from maternity leave.

There is no timeline on when you should start this because it is depends on every position ,and the nature of the duties attached to it. Some simple tasks can be trained in a week time while others may need up to a month for the replacement to adequately handle the position. Therefore assess the nature and technicality of your worm on how much time you need for this and start training and transitioning when appropriate.

4. Hand over Your Projects/Works/Clients

As you near to start your maternity leave, it is time to hand over your projects, works, or clients. A handing over report is a very important step in preparing at work for maternity leave. You need to make a detailed handing-over report to your supervisor or employer.

The handing report should include all the projects or works or clients that you are currently handling, their documents, their progress, and any other relevant information that will make it easy for your company to continue on those projects. As such it is a crucial document for you to start preparing as you get ready for maternity leave at work.

5. Write Out-of-Office Message/Email for Maternity Leave

As you near your last day at work before your maternity leave you need to draft a communication to your clients and colleagues. The communication will alert all your clients and work contacts that you are now out of the office for maternity leave for a specified period of time.

The message alerts your contacts so that they do not have to reach out to you as you will not be in a position to help. The message will also direct your contacts to another contact person who will handle their inquiries till you are back from maternity leave. Therefore communication is a key step in getting ready for maternity and communicating your professionalism.

You can write an email or a phone message. The important elements of this message are communicating that you will be away from work, and for how long and providing an alternative contact person at work.

Last Day Checklist Before Maternity Leave

1. Clear Your Desk off Personal Items

One of the things you need to do on the last day before maternity leave is clear sentimental items off your desk. Clearing your desk before maternity leave starts is important especially if someone else will be using your desk or office. Ensure you keep away or carry home personal items from your desk such as photos, décor, etc.

2. Leave an Out-of-Office Maternity Leave Message/ Email

Before leaving work the last day , send out an out-of-office message. Let your clients and work contacts know that you will be unreachable for a specified period of time and offer alternative contacts for them. Check to make sure your message is sent on your last day before maternity leave.

You may need to write to your colleagues as well. Not every employee you work with will be aware that you will be proceeding for maternity leave, especially if you work in a big company. It will hence help to internally let your colleagues know you will be away for a specified period of time.

3. Bid Your Colleagues Farewell

One thing to clear off your list for starting maternity leave is farewell. Since this is the last day before you start your maternity leave, take your time to bid your colleagues farewell. Say a personal goodbye and let them know that this is your last day till you are back from maternity leave.

4. File Paperwork & Clear With HR

Before leaving the office, be clear with HR on maternity issues , document all records needed and have a maternity leave plan with your HR. You should be on the same page with your HR regarding your maternity leave dates and benefits before you start your maternity leave.

In the minimum you should have documents showing your maternity leave dates, expected date of return, benefits among others. Start off filing your paper work as early as possible to give you ample time for preparing in other areas. At the very lease, start when you start your third trimester.

Simple Templates/Examples for Maternity Leave Message/Email

  • “I’m on extended leave for maternity until [state date]. Contact so-and-so for [specify work issue]”
  • “I am currently on leave and will return in [state date]. For assistance please contact (number) or (main customer service email)”
  • “‘I’m away until [state date], here’s who to contact in my absence [list the contact]”
  • “I am on maternity leave until [date]. Please contact my manager for assistance [contact info]. I will not be regularly checking emails while on leave but look forward to connecting upon my return “
  • “Please note that I am on leave effective [state date] until [state date]. In my absence please contact [list different people covering three different areas]
  • “I will be away from the office until [state return date] please contact [state contact]”
  • “I will be out of the office starting on [state date] and will return on [state date]. I will have limited/no access to email/messages during this time. If the matter is urgent, please reach out to [list contacts]”
  • “Hello, I will be on extended leave beginning [date] until [date] with limited to no access to emails.”
  • “I will be out of the office on leave from [state date] to [state date], with no access to voicemail or email. In my absence please reach out to the following people [state contacts]
  • I’ll be out of the office until further notice. Please contact [insert contact] in the meantime”
  • “EXTENDED ABSENCE ALERT. I am on maternity leave until [state date]. Please direct your email to [state email]
  • “I will have limited access to email until [state date]. Please contact [state name] at [state email] for urgent matters.”
  • “I am currently on maternity leave and will not have access to my office phone or email. For questions regarding [state work issue] please contact [state contact] for questions regarding [issue 1] [issue 2], or [issue 3] please contact [list contacts]. Thanks.”
  • “I will be out of the office and will be unable to reply to emails or phone calls until [state date]. In the meantime, please direct all inquiries to [state contact].”
  • “I am out of the office on maternity leave, to return [insert date]. If you need assistance, please contact the office number at [state phone number] or send an email to [state email]
  • “I will be out of the office until [state return date] and will check email intermittently. From Start – End, I will have no access to communications. If there is an urgent issue, please contact [state contact]. Otherwise, please contact the appropriate person [insert names and roles for tasks]”
  • “I am currently out of the office and will be returning [state return date]. For immediate assistance, please call [insert phone number] or e-mail [insert email]”.

Related Articles

Things to do during your Maternity Leave

Why to Hold your Baby Shower Party After Birth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.