How to ensure employees’ smooth reintroduction to the workplace on their return from maternity leave

  • Bear in mind that returning to work after a long period of absence on maternity leave can be a daunting experience for an employee.
  • Remember that maintaining contact with an employee on maternity leave can help her to stay in touch with the workplace and ease her return to work.
  • Check that you have notified the employee of the date that her maternity leave will end and consider sending her a courtesy letter to remind her of her expected date of return from maternity leave.
  • Consider what changes need to be made to her workload if the employee is returning to work from maternity leave on reduced hours and what arrangements need to be made if she is going to be working with a jobshare partner.
  • Make sure that the employee’s workstation is ready for her return from maternity leave and that she has the materials necessary to do her job.
  • Arrange meetings to update the employee and discuss any training needs or necessary support for her to get back up to speed with her job.
  • Ensure that an employee who has returned to work from maternity leave is not treated less favourably because she has been out of the workplace for some time.
  • Carry out a risk assessment if an employee has returned to work from maternity leave within six months of the birth of her baby or is still breastfeeding.
  • Provide suitable facilities for a breastfeeding employee to rest, and remember that it is good practice to provide a clean, private room, access to a fridge and time off to express milk.

More resources from XpertHR on this topic include:

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