What should be discussed at a pre-maternity-leave interview?
The purpose of a pre-maternity-leave interview is to discuss the practicalities arising from the employee's maternity leave, for example how the employee's work will be covered while she is on leave and any arrangements for a handover.
The employer could discuss keeping-in-touch days with the employee, to ensure that she understands how these work and find out whether or not she might be interested in using them. Aside from keeping-in-touch days, the employer should discuss with the employee what contact it envisages having with her during the leave period, what information she can expect to receive (for example, information about job vacancies) and how often and by what means the employer will contact her.
A pre-maternity-leave interview also provides an opportunity for the employer to discuss arrangements relating to the employee's annual leave entitlement. The employee will continue to accrue annual leave throughout the maternity leave period. The employer may wish the employee to use annual leave before or immediately after the maternity leave period. It can require the employee to take annual leave at certain times provided that it gives the required notice.
The employer may also signpost the employee to information about curtailing maternity leave to take shared parental leave.