New: Simple Expert Guide to Quit Work during or After Maternity Leave

Quitting Work during Maternity Leave 

You can resign from your job at any point in your career that you feel necessary. It is not un professional or rude to quit on maternity leave as it is comparable to quitting at any other normal circumstances. If you have a valid reason to quit, then go ahead and quit no matter how further in you are on maternity leave.

Quitting after maternity leave is especially common because many working moms feel that their energy and priorities shift from work to their baby. Motherhood is a life-changing event and you may realize that you will be returning to work after you have had your child.

If this happens to you is ok to resign from your position when you are still on maternity leave or immediately after. If you think you will not be returning to work after you deliver your child, do not feel bad about it as you can always have another alternative.

Read: How to Avoid Work Calls during Maternity Leave

Benefits of Quitting on Maternity Leave

There are many reasons and benefits for working moms who quit their job on maternity leave such as;

1. Enjoy More Baby Time and Bonding

The need to be with the baby is one of the reasons many moms leave their job. Once you start your maternity leave you may realize you are no ok leaving your infant and return to work. Quitting at this time gives you time to bond and spend with your baby.

2. Chance to Take Care of your Baby

Lack of an affordable and reliable childcare option may force moms to quit their jobs during maternity leave.  It is really hard to find a daycare willing to take in your infant. Also if you live away from family it can get overwhelming when you want to return to work.

If you realize you cannot afford daycare if you return to work, you will find it beneficial to quit and save on the expensive childcare. You will be in a better position to offer reliable childcare to your baby.

3. Chance to Move Locations

A change in the family setup offers a new dimension that allows you to make decisions such as move to a new city. Around the time after delivery is when many families move states and change location.

So when you quit and dont have to return to your od job, you are free to move and find new jobs elsewhere. It does not make sense for you to make a long work commute when your baby is so young.

4. Chance to Be Stay at Home Mom

Most moms plan to have a plan on being stay at home moms during the early years of infancy. If this is your intention, then the plan should be quitting during maternity leave and not returning to work at all. It offers you an opportunity to look after your kids and possibly rejoin the workforce later.

How to Resign Work during Maternity Leave

You should talk to HR or refer to your company policy regarding quitting your job and anything else that is necessary. Quitting your job when on maternity leave should not be complicated and should echo the normal procedure that is normally required when resigning from the job.

The most professional and polite way to quit work when you are on maternity leave is to give in the required notice. Yes, you are still required to put in the necessary notice time even if you are quitting while on maternity leave.

When you give in your notice period before leave is over, you do not need to work during the notice. You shall continue on your maternity leave as normal and the resignation shall kick in on the date that you have given as your last day.

The ideal way is to write a letter and hand deliver it or send it through email. Equally, you can set up a one-on-one meeting.

Other factors to consider are your terms of engagement and the relationship you have with your employer. At some workplaces you can simply ghost on your employer on the day you were supposed to come back. In others you can easily chat up your boss about not returning to work once your maternity leave is over.

However if you do not give any form of communication and fail to report back to work you will be deemed as having quit. Many moms have simply ghosted their employers and just failed to turn up on the the day they were to resume work. Your case will hence be treated as you have resigned from your position effective from the date your maternity leave ended.

how to quit work during or after maternity leave

When to Hand Over Resignation Letter

If you are sure that you will not go back to your job, you have the option of resigning during your maternity leave or wait until it has depleted. If you were on unpaid maternity leave, it has not to impact on your pay or other benefits. If you quit before your leave is over, you may lose your benefits.

If you do not want to report back to work but want the benefits then you should give in your notice towards the end of the maternity leave.  If you are required to give in 2 weeks’ notice for resignation, then hand in your resignation two weeks towards the end of your maternity leave. By doing so the resignation will take effect immediately after your maternity leave is over.

If your notice period is 14 days then you should not go to work during these 14 days. Other workplaces require that if you put in your notice, you are required to be actually be there and working.

As such you may need to actually go back and work for the entire period of your notice, which is determined by your contract and company policy. If not you may have to pay back the company the maternity benefits that you enjoyed.

Alternatively you may opt to wait it out until your maternity leave is over before quitting. You will then give in your notice but you are required to report back to work during this notice period before your resignation can take effect.

However ensure that you do not owe your company anything if you do not go back. There is a set period of time you have to stay on after maternity leave to not have to pay back any benefits that the company had paid you. Check your state’s law and company policy regarding eligibility of the maternity leave benefits package ad any liability involved.

Read: When to Quit during Pregnancy or Take an Early Maternity Leave

What Happens when you Resign on/after Maternity Leave

If you are planning to resign from your job when you are on maternity you must understand that there are repercussions to this.

  • The pay and any other benefits will cease the day that your resignation becomes effective. If you were on unpaid maternity leave, then quitting during or after your maternity has not to impact on your pay or other benefits.
  • When you quit during maternity leave you will lose the time off you may have accumulated before starting your leave
  • You are entitled to the basic pay/benefit, but you need to pay any supplemental benefits if you do not return to work. Some company has stipulations in the employment contracts that if you take paid/partially paid leave and quit before it’s up, you have to repay it.
  • When you quit during or after maternity leave you will lose any other benefits attached to your maternity leave such as health insurance. Some workplace will require paying back the premiums that have been paid for you if you do not return to work for a certain period of time after your maternity leave is over.
  • When you quit during or after maternity leave you potentially burn bridges and may have negative references when you try to re-enter the workplace later.
  • You may also come across as unreliable and hurt your chances of getting another job in the future. Therefore consider this implication of quitting during or once your maternity leave if you might want to return to the workforce sometime later in the future.

Read: What to do When you can’t Get a Paid Maternity Leave

Accept Job Offer While On Maternity Leave

It is not wrong to quit work during maternity leave to immediately start working in another. If you get an offer that you think is more competitive than the current one, then there is no harm in accepting the job offer and quitting the old job.

If you find good pastures when you are on maternity leave, you should simply resign from your old job and accept to work at the new job. You will lose the remaining leave days as you may have to start early but it is totally ok to start a new job immediately your leave is over.

Just ensure that you have the new opportunity in hand, the contract signed and you are able to finish out your maternity leave before leaving your current job.

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