10 top tips for returning to work after maternity leave.

1. Be kind to yourself (don’t feel bad).
2. Have lunch or coffee with your boss a few weeks before your return.
3. Remember that the first few weeks or months back will seem the hardest.
4. Try to go back to work on a Wednesday/Thursday or a week with a holiday.
5. Set a departure time in your head, talk it over with your boss, and stick to it.
6. Do a dry run of your new morning routine before your first day back to work.
7. Dress well, do well.
8. It’s a good sign if you feel excited.
9. If a relative offers to watch your baby for the first day or week, take advantage where possible.
10. If and when you feel guilty, remember: your child will be proud of you someday.

For more real-life stories, tips and advice, see our returning to work after maternity leave interactive page click the link below.

returning to work after maternity.

Returning to work after maternity leave can be exciting, overwhelming, confusing and bring on many more emotions. You may look forward to returning to work, or on the other hand, you may be having second thoughts about returning to your current employer.

The information below will provide you with guidance, help you understand your rights, and allow you to hear about the previous experiences of others. Our informative podcast also includes some real examples and helpful tips on how to cope with returning to work after that extended period of time.

One of the biggest benefits will be your network around you. People who have been there, experienced the feelings, the process and more. In the video below, we start by talking to two people who have taken maternity leave to find out about their experiences, differences and opinions on the process which can be daunting to many.

returning to work.

consider part-time work after maternity leave.

Many people are different when it comes to returning to work - some do, some don’t and some only look for a part-time position. Part-time work can be great, easing you back into the working environment and allowing time to socialise. This can also help with childcare costs and general finances.

Job titles often offering part-time work:

  • Receptionist
  • Assistant administrator
  • Social worker

know your rights around maternity leave.

When to tell your employer. You need to give your employer eight week’s notice if you would like to return to work earlier or later than the agreed date.

changes which you could expect.

After having six months to a year out of work you can expect to come back and see some changes within the organisation. Not to mention there probably would be huge changes in your own life. You have the right to return to the same job on the same terms and conditions from which you left in. 

Sometimes it is not as simple as returning to the same job (for example, if your role involved night shifts which you can’t do anymore).

If this is the situation, you have the right to be offered a similar job on the same terms and conditions as your previous role. If the position has now become redundant you should be offered a suitable alternative role or a payment depending on the amount of time you were employed for.

your pay.

When returning to the same company you have the right to receive any pay rises or company improvements in terms and conditions for the job that took place while you were on maternity leave.

holiday entitlement.

When you are on maternity leave you accrue holiday like you would do if you were at work. Many people add this onto their maternity leave, if you decide not to, then you often have the right to take what’s left. It's recommended that you check with your employer first.

flexible working.

You have just had a life-changing few of months, going back into a 9-5, five days a week job isn’t going to be the easiest. You might consider asking for flexible working hours to help with your work-life balance.

This includes;

  • Job sharing
  • Homeworking
  • Staggered hours
  • Part-time working.

In most cases. you will need to have worked for the employer for a minimum of 26 weeks including maternity leave to request flexible hours. Remember that you are requesting this and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have the right to have it. It will take usually around 14 weeks if approved for everything to be implemented from the new arrangement.

parental leave.

If you’ve have been with an employer for more than one year then you have the right to take up to 18 weeks unpaid leave for each child. This typically is up until their 18th birthday.

Parental leave examples:

  • spend more time with your child/children.
  • settling your children into new childcare arrangements.
  • spend more time visiting family.
  • look at new schools.

Parental leave doesn't have to be taken as one whole stretch of time off, you can break it up and use it as and when. You will, however, have to use them as week-long blocks (unless your child has a disability).

Four weeks is the maximum time for each child which you may take each year.

keeping in touch.

You and your employer are entitled and encouraged to make reasonable contact with one another. This may be to talk about:

  • Job vacancies
  • Opportunities for promotions
  • Changes at work

You can work up to 10 days during your maternity, these days are called KIT Days (keeping in touch). You won't lose maternity pay or benefits, or end your leave and will have to discuss and agree on with your employer.

Remember this is an individual experience, everyone is different and will want different outcomes. There is no wrong or right so go with how you feel comfortable, you may find it is very dependant on finances too but try and keep a track of expenses and track them. 

If you are looking to find a job after maternity, click the link below or get in touch with your local Randstad branch.