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HR Maternity Leave Policy Challenges

Employees must follow a formal maternity leave procedure to request maternity leave and benefits

  • 08 May 2023
  • min read

HR Maternity Leave Policy

  • Maternity paid leave is available for up to 26 weeks, with 8 weeks of pre-natal leave.
  • Employees with two or more children are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, while adoption leave is also available for 12 weeks.
  • Commissioning mothers who use their eggs to create an embryo implanted in another woman are also entitled to 12 weeks of leave.
  • Maternity leave is fully paid, subject to eligibility criteria, and a medical bonus is provided.
  • Employees must follow a formal maternity leave procedure to request maternity leave and benefits, and HR must approve any deviation from the policy.

Maternity Leave Challenges For Employers

  • According to a report, a major concern for 95% of managers is how to find a replacement for an employee who announces her pregnancy. This challenge is even greater for managers who have employees in client-facing roles or work in a team and are not individual contributors.
  • Companies are uncertain whether the employee will continue working for them after having a baby.
  • The report also found that 88% of women feel managing uncertainty is a significant challenge without guidance and support from mentors, especially when there are health issues involved.
  • Managers also face difficulties preparing for the employee's return and managing their workload.
  • Insufficient support from organisations makes the reintegration process less smooth. While managers are open to providing flexible working hours, this can be a challenge without support from the organisation's policy.
  • To prevent conflicts in the workplace, it is crucial for companies to anticipate and make arrangements for paid maternity leave. This can involve conducting a risk evaluation and creating unambiguous guidelines.
  • Effective communication is equally crucial and can facilitate the determination of when an employee desires to resume their job. This encompasses flexible work requests and any phased reintegration schedules.

Employers that lack supportive maternity leave policies may face a considerable strain on resources, decreased productivity, difficulty retaining top talent, and uneven distribution of work.

Additionally, employers should also look into offering health insurance coverage with maternity coverage. While not mandatory, it is an additional benefit that can be of great help. 

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