Why managers need training around maternity leave

Corinne Moore

It’s a fact of life that at some point one of your employees will share with you that they are expecting a baby. With women making up close to half of the workforce you’re sure to have an excited employee share the news that she is pregnant. It is such an exciting time of their life and you, as their employer, need to be on board for the ride.


An employee will share their news with you orally during the first trimester so generally you should have between 4 and 6 months to prepare for a smooth transition. This seems like a lot of time but in reality this is a very quick process. This is the time where you and your employee will set in place a checklist of items you both need to adhere to in order for the transition to run smoothly. As their manager it is important that you have up to date information at all times so you can actively manage the next chapter of the employee’s life.

To help make this process easier, we have designed a course to take you through the steps in order to seamlessly manage a very exciting time in someone’s life. Managing an expecting employee involves a range of necessary checklists and paperwork. From establishing their due date, to making sure all paperwork is in order and effectively replacing them in the workplace with minimal disruption can be tricky. It’s important to get systems in place so that both employer and employee know what to expect from maternity leave.

This course will also help guide you through the steps and best practices to ensure the employees health and wellbeing is being looked after. It’s a very strenuous time in a woman’s life, so assisting in making your employee’s professional life as easy as possible will alleviate some of the stress of the overall pregnancy process. Together, you and your employee should be working towards a clearly defined (for both parties) and openly communicative working relationship in the days and months leading into the arrival of their child.

In addition to be providing your employee with a safe, comfortable and supportive work environment (before, during and after their pregnancy), it’s crucial that you are fully across the businesses own parental leave policies and procedures. Ensuring that your employee is satisfied with the working environment that they have been provided is important, however it’s equally important to accurately represent your organization, thus making sure that you have not promised something to your staff member that is outside of yours and the businesses reach.

During the maternity leave process it is imperative to have an open line of communication. So many unexpected things can arise in a women’s pregnancy that you will need to have flexibility and the ability to adapt to these situations. It may be health issues, to unexpected appointments, to extreme morning sickness, so having a flexible workforce planning strategy in place can assist both you and your employee. Being aware of this, whilst forecasting your staffing requirements will help you to avoid breakdowns in resourcing and service levels.

Having been through the maternity leave process twice myself, it was incredibly important to have a smooth transition. Knowing where I stood and what was expected of me in the workplace helped me to transition into motherhood seamlessly, without the stress of not knowing what was happening next. I was able to discuss matters with my employer and feel comfortable in the workplace. My health and safety was a top priority as I was one of those unfortunate women who’s pregnancy weren’t so smooth, but my employer always made it very clear that my health and my babies health was incredibly important to the organization.
I have recently entered the workforce again after having my second child and it was managed exceptionally well. The lines of communication were open and my employer was respectful of my needs, not only as an employee, but also as a mother of two small children.

This course is critical to organizations of all sizes, as the maternity leave process is one that needs to be well navigated. There is a lot of information out there for women who are expecting, but sometimes not enough is provided for the employer. It is important to remember that every situation is different and you, as the employer, need to have the knowledge in how to manage the process well. By doing this, you will be cultivating a supportive and hospitable workplace culture, one that will assist in staff retention and the reduction of attrition, which, as we know, is a win for all successful business.

Having an open dialogue with your employee will mean you will both know what to expect (when they are expecting) throughout the process, and may be more willing to negotiate coming back to the workplace.

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