What to do to prepare your report for parental leave
Take these actions
- Meet this week with your report and an HR rep to review our parental leave policies.
- Familiarize yourself with our parental leave policies.
What to expect before leave begins
You and your report will have three meetings leading up to the start of their parental leave:
- Meeting 1 (this week) - Discuss leave policies and their leave (~4-5 months before leave)
- Meeting 2 - Develop the transition plan for coverage of their work during their leave (~3 months before leave)
- Meeting 3 - Finalize their transition plan, communication plan, and tentative discussions on their return to work plans (~1 month before leave starts)
What you’ll discuss in Meeting 1
This first meeting sets the stage as early as possible for how you can support them in taking the leave they need.
Cover the following:
- Company policy for parental leave and what resources are available to support your report throughout their leave.
- Timing of when your report intends to take leave and how much leave they will take.
- Inquire as to if they have any work restrictions you should be aware of if your report is pregnant.
- Schedule the next meeting for two months prior to the expected leave date.
Dos and Don’ts
You play a crucial role in shaping the experience of your report before, during, and after their parental leave. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help guide you.
- Offer your congratulations. Let the parent-to-be make their own announcement.
- Connect, but don’t overshare. No need for scary or traumatizing stories about pregnancy and birth!
- Reassure them that they are a valuable member of the team and remind them of their achievements and contributions.
- Create an open dialogue about long-term career goals and consider parental leave as a career interlude, not a career disruption.
- Ask how you can best support them at work.
- Speak up for them when they are absent, and ensure they remain a visible part of the team.
- Do not make assumptions about what a pregnant employee can or cannot do. Ask if there are changes that need to be made for the employee to work safely.
- Do not comment on a pregnant employee’s body, appearance, or size.
- Do not ask to touch a pregnant employee’s baby bump.
- Do not ask questions about the baby’s gender, their birthing plans, or other invasive questions.
- Do not ask if the baby was planned or how the pregnancy came about.
- Do not insinuate that parental leave is like a vacation.
- Do not assume that the parent will not want to return to work after parental leave or will need or want certain accommodations upon their return.
- Do not give pregnant employees advice on what they should or shouldn’t eat or drink.