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How to ensure employees' smooth reintroduction to the workplace on their return from maternity leave

Author: Katie Wood

Summary

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  • Bear in mind that returning to work after a long period of absence on maternity leave can be a daunting experience for an employee.
  • Remember that maintaining contact with an employee on maternity leave can help them to stay in touch with the workplace and ease their return to work.
  • Check that you have notified the employee of the date that their maternity leave will end and consider sending them a courtesy letter to remind them of their expected date of return from maternity leave.
  • Consider what changes need to be made to the employee's workload if they are returning to work from maternity leave on reduced hours and what arrangements need to be made if they are going to be working with a jobshare partner.
  • Make sure that the employee's workstation is ready for their return from maternity leave and that they have the materials necessary to do their job.
  • Arrange meetings to update the employee and discuss any training needs or necessary support for them to get back up to speed with the job.
  • Ensure that an employee who has returned to work from maternity leave is not treated less favourably because they have been out of the workplace for some time.
  • Carry out a risk assessment if an employee has returned to work from maternity leave within six months of the birth or is still breastfeeding.
  • Provide suitable facilities for a breastfeeding employee to rest, and remember that it is good practice to provide a clean, private room, access to a fridge and time off to express milk.