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What to do when an employee takes a maternity leave and you aren't sure if they are coming back for good or not

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Most companies or businesses are often faced with the tough question of what to do when an employee takes a maternity leave and you aren't sure if they are coming back for good or not. Legally you and your business or company is required to give your employees 6 weeks of maternity leave. After those 6 weeks it is up to you what you do for your employee that is on maternity leave. There are some options to look at if you are not sure the employee is coming back for good or not.

Before your employee goes on maternity leave you should make sure that you have other employees who are trained to take her job for at least the 6 week leave. You can cross -train someone else to take on this employees responsibilities. This will help you in covering the employees' job while they are gone on maternity leave. If the employee does not come back you will also have someone to take over until you find a replacement or the employee you cross trained can take over the job.

Make sure to keep in contact with your employee that is on maternity leave. This will give you a good feel for whether or not they may be coming back to work. If the employee is evasive with exact dates or any reasons why they may not be coming back after the 6 week leave then it may be that they are not coming back to work. Trying to work something out with your employee would be the best idea. If you would like to keep the employee on your payroll but also understand that they want to be home with their new family you may be able to come to an agreement that will work for both of you.

Telecommuting is an option to keep the employee on your payroll. Can you and the employee work out a way for her to work from home? This will give your employee time at home with her family, earn a paycheck and still be in your employment. This option has become very popular and efficient with many companies. They retain more people from maternity leave this way. Make sure it is a good fit with the employee, you and the rest of the company or business.

Look into having the employee work part-time for your business or company. You will still get her expertise in her job position. You will also have no need to train someone new to fill her position. The employee can still do many of the same tasks but will also need to cut back or assign tasks to someone else.

You may be able to do job share. If you have a few employees that want to work part time this can be a great option. Your employee on maternity leave can come back to a part time position that is shared with another employee. Both employees do the same job just at different times. You won't have to worry about hiring any new employees and you will have helped the employee on maternity leave.

There are many options to look at when you are not sure what to do when an employee takes a maternity leave and you aren't sure if they are coming back or not. Make sure to cross train other employees, keep in contact with the employee during the maternity leave and talk about the different options the employee has for coming back to work for you.

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Posted by DF
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