How to Plan Your Maternity Leave

plan your maternity leave

First things first, congratulations on having conceived! It’s a big step for any working woman to have taken this leap and as a new phase of life awaits you, the last thing you want is to lose your ongoing career. A lot of the time, women lose grip on their professional lives and are not taken seriously after their pregnancy, and while that is horrible, there are a few things you can do to get this right. Read on to know how you can plan your maternity leave in the best possible way: 

Know Your Rights.

As per the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill of 2016 applies to all companies that employ more than 10 people. It suggests that women employees have a right to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave from the organization in case of pregnancy. However, that this rule applies only for the first two children. For the third child, the leave period is 12 weeks. This means that you have nothing to worry about, really, given that 26 weeks is almost 6 months, a fairly long time.  Also, make sure to read the company by-laws thoroughly before you go in for The Discussion.

Discuss with another employee.

Your boss and organization might be really caring, but a lot their attitudes might changes when they get to know about an employee’s pregnancy. You need to prepare yourself for the worst kind of response before you tell this news to them, which is why it is better to approach someone who has been in this situation before. Reach out to someone who has been on maternity leave and gets an idea of how it was received in the company.

Make plans.

You need to align your targets with the company’s targets. This would mean getting a fair idea of the date you would want leave from. The maternity leave covers both the phases, during and after the pregnancy, but you still need to have an idea beforehand about how long after your pregnancy ends would you be able to come back. Align this plan with your targets at work. Know what all you would miss and how you would make up for it before you inform your company about this.

Set up a Meeting.

This might be slightly tricky, but not all that difficult. Make an appointment, sit with your boss and tell them about it all. Formalize your agreement by keeping a written copy with yourself and send a copy to the HR, to avoid misunderstandings later on.  

Train your substitute.

Your substitute would be new to your job, so it becomes your duty to teach them anything and everything. If possible, you must make it a point to keep in touch with your company (even put this in the agreement if necessary) that you would be needing updates emails from them every week/fortnight. It is important to stay in touch with the work as much as possible so that when you return, you know where to pick up from. 

Despite all of these efforts, trust things to unexpectedly go wrong.  No one sees such things coming, and it is perfectly okay, so as long as the organization is being kept in the loop about it. So go ahead and plan your leaves.


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