Returning to work

19th December 2017

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By Megan Salter

If you’ve recently taken some time off work, for reasons including maternity leave, mental health issues or maybe even from redundancy then you may find when the time comes to return to work that you’re a little apprehensive. This is completely normal and something most people will experience when it comes to planning your return.  When it comes to returning to work from maternity leave, then it always helps to put a plan in place, making the return a little smoother.

Communicate with your manager

Communicating with your manager constantly is important when it comes to returning to work and can really help, throughout your time off try to stay in touch even if it’s just through the odd email. Being as open and honest with your manager will also help when it comes to any concerns you have, addressing these will make your return better and help put you both at ease. Make sure as well when you return that you plan in regular meetings with your manager to help make sure you’re on the right return to work plan and you’re getting all the support you need.

Take your time

You may find you’re ready to return to work a little sooner than planned and that’s fine, if you’re situation allows, and this works then that’s good, however if you also feel as though you’re not quite ready to jump back in full time that that’s fine too! Talk to your employer about flexible return, this is something they may be able to offer which means you can ease yourself back in and take your time when it comes to making the switch to full time. It’s best to ask your manager or HR department about the options available, but make sure they work for you and are something you’re happy with.

Plan ahead

If you’ve got a lot of things to juggle, family life, returning to work and trying to have some down time then planning can really help. Even if it’s just small things such as using your lunch breaks to do the online food shop, sort out admin or prepping as much as you can in the evening, so those hectic mornings don’t cause you too much stress. By doing as much as you can when you have small windows, can help the more stressful moments become a little easier.

Do your research

Gather some information regarding your rights during maternity leave and any benefits your employer has in place for time off and packages. Understand the amount of leave you’re entitled too and pay during this time, as this might vary from each company you work for. It’s important to know your rights when returning to work, so consider things such as pay, holidays and working hours. Did you know for example that you don’t have to take 52 weeks maternity leave, but you must take at least two weeks’ leave (or four is you work in a factory). Finding out information about maternity leave and your rights is important and can help you when planning your return.

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