Pyn PointCareers

What to do to prepare your report for parental leave

3 minutes

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.

Do

  • 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.

Don’t

  • 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.
Credits: Photo by @dearseymour on Unsplash.