When an employee is getting ready to head out on maternity leave, the situation is both exciting and daunting for the employer. Often, it means a valuable staff member will be away for an extended period, and their absence will be felt by their co-workers, manager, and even the entire company.
However, if you prepare for your employee’s maternity leave in advance, you can make the situation less challenging for the business. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips to get you started.
Start Planning ASAP
Once you learn an employee will need to use maternity leave, it’s best to begin planning for their absence immediately. The sooner you start, the easier it will be to ensure all of their duties are covered and a suitable communication plan is in place. Plus, making sure everyone feels fully supported during the process, including the employee on maternity leave and the rest of their co-workers, will be easier to manage.
Additionally, if you intend to bring in a short-term worker during the employee’s time away, you will have ample time to determine what skills and experiences this person needs to be successful. You’ll be able to make a smarter hiring decision, ensuring you get the best candidate for the job.
Get to Know Their Duties
When a worker is preparing for maternity leave, you need to have a thorough understanding of their role. Meet with them to discuss all of their duties, no matter how small, to make it easier to arrange for proper coverage.
Begin by having them outline all of their major projects. Then, request that they provide a detailed account of their day. Once you have the information, you can identify other team members who can cover the employee’s duties during their absence or decide if you are better served by hiring a short-term worker to join your staff.
Prepare for an Early Handover
While your employee may know their due date, a birth isn’t guaranteed to happen on schedule. They may deliver days or weeks early, so it’s important to be ready for a transition well in advance of their anticipated due date.
Allow the employee to start working with their team members or the short-term worker in advance, providing training and insights regarding the management of the duties they will be handling during her absence. In some cases, you may want to transition specific tasks over before they officially go on maternity leave, allowing the employee to focus on specific responsibilities, like completing a critical project, in lieu of duties that don’t provide the same amount of value.
If you decide to bring in a temporary worker to cover the employee’s maternity leave, consider partnering with a reputable staffing firm. They can help you locate great candidates quickly and efficiently, assisting with everything from recruitment to screening.
Plus, the short-term team member doesn’t have to become an official employee. Instead, they remain an employee of the recruitment firm, allowing you to avoid any concerns about unemployment, workers’ compensation, and similar hiring risks.
If you are looking for an ideal short-term worker to cover your employee’s maternity leave, the professionals at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to discuss your needs today and see how our services can make maternity leave coverage easier to manage.