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How to stay in touch with employees on maternity leave

Author: Katie Wood

Summary

Click on any of the hyperlinks to go to more detailed guidance below.

  • Be aware that the maternity legislation provides that "reasonable contact" during maternity leave is permitted.
  • Take into account that what is "reasonable" contact during maternity leave will vary according to the wishes of the individual employee, her position and the type of work that she does.
  • Note that, regardless of her seniority or type of work, no employee is obliged to maintain contact with you during her maternity leave.
  • Agree the level of contact during maternity leave, the types of issues that might be discussed, the means of contact and who will initiate it at a pre-maternity-leave interview.
  • Remember that an employee is under no obligation to maintain contact during her maternity leave at the level discussed if she does not wish, or is unable, to do so.
  • Avoid less favourable treatment of employees on maternity leave by offering the same opportunities for training, career development and promotion that other members of staff receive.
  • Take care that contact during maternity leave does not lead to an employee feeling under pressure to return to work early or to confirm if she will be returning.
  • Contact an employee on maternity leave during a redundancy or reorganisation exercise, or if there are any changes to her job.
  • Remember that, in a redundancy situation, an employee on maternity leave has the right to be offered any suitable alternative job that is available.