Returning from maternity or parental leave can be an incredibly stressful time for your employee, so you need to help make the transition as easy as possible for them. They have probably got a lot of mixed emotions about coming back, and it is likely that this will be the first time they have been away from their child for any extended period of time.
While they might be excited about returning to work, they will probably also be a little nervous. A lot of things can change in a business over six-months to a year, and this article aims to provides some tips to help with their return.
Return to work conversation
Hopefully, while your employee has been off, you have kept in touch to see how they are doing, and to confirm when exactly they want to return to work. Once they are back, you should set up a return to work meeting with them. In this meeting, you can have an informal chat in order to fill them in on any changes to the business or their job role.
Legally, they are entitled to the same job under the same terms and conditions as they left, but if changes have occurred you will need to update them. Maybe they used to work a night shift which they cannot do anymore, so you can discuss with them a change of hours in this initial conversation.
Offering flexible working makes your workplace much more appealing to all employees, but it can be really great for people returning from maternity leave or parents with small children. Your employee might benefit from job sharing, staggered hours, or the chance to work from home so that they can manage both their work and family commitments.
Your employees have the right to ask for flexible working if they have been in your employment for 26 weeks or more (including maternity leave), but it is not a legal obligation for you to allow it. Offering flexible working can be really advantageous to your business though, as it increases staff retention, loyalty and workplace satisfaction, leading to a happier and more productive workplace in the long run.
Practical tips for easing their return
There are some really straightforward steps that you can implement in your business to help an employee who is returning from maternity leave. You could suggest that:
They leave their out of office on for a few days after their return: Emails will have piled up while they have been away, and leaving the out of office on for a little longer can give them the chance to get on top of the old before dealing with the new.
Bring them back on a Wednesday: Having a shorter week can help them ease back in without getting overwhelmed.
Plan for illness: They might feel awkward about asking for time off once they have just come back, but they, or the child, might get ill. New environments have lots of new germs, so it might take a little while to build an immunity up.
Prepare for a confidence dip: They have been off for a while, so they will need to build their confidence back up before they are fully productive again. Give them the chance to ask questions and provide support to help them find their feet again.
Help them make the most of their lunch break: To free up some time for them when they are not at work, let them do their online grocery shop, book appointments or exercise during their free time over lunch. It can help make their private time less stressful and make them happier at work.
Encourage them to meet with their colleagues before returning: There will be some colleagues they are close with at work, and you should encourage them to arrange a coffee and a catch up before coming back. It can help minimise some worry about returning and give them chance to catch up on what they have missed.
This article runs through the business finance options available once government support comes to an end.
From recruitment to payroll to offboarding – there are several key responsibilities of a human resources department that keep a business running smoothly. Of course, many small businesses don’t have the capacity for an HR department and HR duties are often done by directors, managers, and administrators within the business. An HR department essentially manages
Creativity in business can come in many forms. From fresh content production to dynamic problem solving – allowing your ideas and innovations to materialise is such an important part of growing a successful business. Whether its time or money or team dynamics or a global pandemic, barriers to creativity in business can come from all
09th November 20219:00 am - 10:30 amFREE
Growing is essential to success as a business, but knowing how best to grow and what to do can be difficult. Learn about your options and how to plan your business growth with this webinar.
09th November 20213:00 pm - 4:00 pmFREE
Knowing your funding options as a start-up or early-stage business can be vital to your success, both now and in the future. Learn about funding and how best to apply for it with this webinar.
10th November 202110:00 am - 11:00 amFREE
This free webinar with Agricultural Business Training (ABT) will help you increase your basic farm business skills, financial knowledge and enable you to gain a better understanding of VAT categories and how to comply with future legislative changes.
Help to Grow support senior managers of small and medium sized businesses to boost their business’s performance, resilience, and long-term growth.
This webinar will help you understand what is involved in self-employment and starting a new business, as well as other aspects you need to consider including is there a demand for your idea and is now the time right to commence your journey into business?