Arrange maternity leave cover

Key points

  • Cover arrangements should be considered as soon as an employee notifies her employer of the date she intends to start maternity leave.
  • Options include: redistributing the employee's duties among existing members of the team; suspending some or all of the projects or tasks on which the employee is engaged; an acting-up arrangement; a secondment from another department; the use of temporary agency staff; or a fixed-term appointment.
  • An appropriate handover should take place at both ends of the maternity leave.
  • An employee has the right to return to the job in which she was employed before she started her maternity leave, and if this is not reasonably practicable for the employer, the employee must be offered a similar job on the same terms and conditions.

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