Whether you’re expecting your first child, or this is just how many children you’ve had so far, the idea of maternity leave can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Planning for how to prepare for maternity leave will help make the transition easier for yourself and those around you. This post will walk through a checklist of things to do before taking time off to care for your new baby.
Tips on How to Prepare for Maternity Leave
#1. When to Start Preparing for Maternity Leave: Now! Planning is better than scrambling at the last minute. And, you’ll need time to get your ducks in a row and gather everything you might want or need during maternity leave.
#2. Maintain Your Health During Pregnancy: If possible, do not schedule anything major (like surgery) right before going on maternity leave. The more healthy and rested you are when starting your maternity leave, the easier it will be to handle those first few weeks/months as a new mommy!
Plus, if there’s an emergency that requires having to go into work while pregnant then this could risk both yourself and your baby’s health due to stress from travel and other elements like extreme temperatures etc.
#3. During Pregnancy: Keep in mind that many companies will not allow you to work from home, so if working remotely is an option for your job then take advantage of it! If the thought of having a new baby at home while juggling responsibilities at work makes you anxious then this may be something to start planning well ahead of.
Also, keep in mind that maternity leave does NOT mean quitting or getting fired – there are often loopholes and options available depending on what type of position/job you have.
For example, some places offer “bridge programs” where employees can get their current salary but only need to show up long enough to train someone else who’s doing their old job before they go on leave. Or maybe there’s even another position open that you could apply for that would still be available when you get back.
Does my employer offer parental leave benefits? Where do I find out more information about this?
It varies by company and state but a minimum of 12 weeks unpaid FMLA (Federal Law) is required.
What happens if you don’t come back after maternity leave?
You will be asked to return when you are physically able to. If you cannot, your job is still available for a set amount of time until the replacement can take over or it may be terminated.
You do not lose rights but must apply and interview as any other new applicant would if they were applying during that period. Your employer should work with you regarding this transition to ensure everyone’s benefit from the outcome while considering their needs and requirements concerning employment law.
What happens if my partner doesn’t come back? Can I keep his benefits too?
Your company’s policy on benefits will dictate whether or not this option is available after maternity leave expires depending on how long he was employed by them.
If there is an open enrollment period for benefits, you will have to choose a plan during that time or it may be terminated. You do not lose rights but must apply and interview as any other new applicant would if they were applying during that period.
Your employer should work with you regarding this transition to ensure everyone’s benefit from the outcome while considering their needs and requirements concerning employment law.
Can maternity leave and parental leave be taken at the same time?
Yes, however, FMLA does not apply to parental leave.
Can I receive my normal pay during maternity/parental leave?
FMLA requires you to be paid at 50% of your usual salary for 12 weeks – this is unpaid unless your company has another policy in place! Some companies offer paid time off as well but there are no federal requirements about how much or whether it’s concurrent with FML… etc.!
It may vary by state as well so do some research on the benefits available where you live and work! You can also look into short term disability insurance if that would help cover income loss while you’re out from work too.
Can I get maternity leave if I just started a job?
Yes! FMLA protects both new and current employees. You need to work at least 12 months for the same company before you can request leave, but it doesn’t matter if your start date was yesterday or three years ago – as long as you’re eligible then you should be granted time off under FMLA.
What benefits am I entitled to if I don’t return to work after maternity leave?
Many companies offer maternity benefits that allow mothers to return to work gradually; working part-time or staying home for a longer period before returning full-time.
Check with your employer about what is available in this situation! While you may not be able to come back to the same old job, it doesn’t mean anything negative about how they feel about you as an employee so don’t take their silence personally.
What if I want more than two weeks off?
You might qualify for additional leave under FMLA beyond just maternity leave, but only if your company has 50+ employees within 75 miles and you have worked there 12 months consecutively (not including any breaks between employment). Talk to your manager again. If you feel they are being unfair, contact your company’s HR department.