Maternity leave over? What to consider before returning to work

maternity leave

Maternity leave can fly by and if you are determined to return to work once it is over there are a few things to consider before setting the alarm for those early mornings again – although you’re more than likely used to those already!

If you are ready to return to work, here are the things that must be considered:

Are you ready?

It’s okay to not feel nervous about leaving your baby in the care of a family member or even a stranger, however you need to be sure you are absolutely ready before you head back to work. There will be numerous conflicting feelings occurring as you prepare for the 9-5 grind again, from guilt and sadness to even excitement if you’re lucky enough to love your job. However, it’s important you feel ready to start again and don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t ready to return when you initially planned.

Have you notified your employer?

You and your employer will have agreed a return date, however circumstances can change and it’s important you have spoken with them if you wish to return to work earlier or later than agreed.

Is your childcare affordable?

Childcare is an expensive business, wherever you are in the world, with the cost of sending a child of two to nursery averaging at around £217.57 per week on a full time basis, in the UK. It’s a good idea to visit and speak to more than one nursery and ensure you are getting the best price. To help support you further it’s a good idea to check you are claiming the correct amount of child benefit, as this can help contribute towards childcare costs.

Have you talked to your boss about how you would like to return?

You don’t have to jump straight back in on a Monday morning after maternity leave is over, it’s worth reaching out to your boss and discussing a steady introduction for yourself back into the workplace. Many women start with two or three days a week and gradually build these up to full time again, it ensures you don’t burn out straight away and your baby adjust to time spent apart.

Do you know your rights?

Mothers on maternity leave have certain rights when it comes to employment, to ensure they are not treated unfairly. Being away from your workplace for six months to a year is a long time, and lots can change but it’s important your needs are still considered even if you are not there. Your employer should keep you updated with any changes and if your job role has changed since you left. If your role has been made redundant since your departure your employer must offer you another suitable vacancy or you could be entitled to redundancy pay.

Consider these things before returning to work and ensure you are prepared for the fun of juggling a job and caring for a new baby! With the right help and support you’ll discover that these two worlds can easily work together and you can continue to provide for your family and enjoy spending time with your little one when you get home.

*This is a collaborative post*

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