Six Quick Tips to Ease Your Maternity Leave Planning

Six Quick Tips to Ease Your Maternity Leave Planning

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So you are about to get into your 2nd or 3rd trimester. It’s now a great time to plan your maternity leave. The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 2017, passed in March 2017 – which applies to organisations having over ten employees entitles working women in India – a paid maternity leave for 26 weeks (approx six months).

So what do you do, and how do you plan? Here are a few points that should help you with maternity planning for the next 6-12 months.

1. Know the HR Policies

Companies have implemented 26 weeks of maternity leave, but there can be some silver lining here. Based on your work profile, there can be additional options & benefits such as WFH (work from home) if you are in the final trimester. Also, companies offer medical reimbursement upto an amount that can differ for both normal/C -sections. Reach out to your HR and go through the complete maternal policy & benefits. Also, understand the supporting documents like medical bills, test reports etc., which will be required to claim the leave and other uses later.

2. Speak to Your Manager

Generally, when you are past your first trimester ( i.e.first three months), you can use this time to break the news to your manager. Don’t delay further, as the bump will begin to be visible towards the mid of your 2nd trimester. If you need flexibility in time or WFH towards the end of your 3rd trimester, give them the intimation to begin the required planning. The important thing is to remain professional and not let the work suffer when you are not around during your leave. It’s alright if you are not comfortable sharing this news with other colleagues yet at the office. They will know in a few weeks, and that’s fine!

3. Speak to Your Colleagues

You can begin knowledge transfer of the important work your colleagues will do while you are away on maternity leave once you have aligned with your management. It would be preferable if you could write an SOP and distribute it to the people who are concerned (including your boss) so that you are not harassed during your maternity leave.

4. Speak With Your Family 

So for six months or more, you will be at home, plan with your partner, parents, in-laws and friends who all would be there to ‘support you’ when you are home and when you would be going back to work. Include nanny hunt as well to the task list!

5. Save up the Leaves 

In case you have Privilege leaves available, avoid clubbing it with your maternity leave if possible. You have already spent six months away from the office, and I am sure you would be looking forward to going back to work. You can later utilise those leaves for travelling & exploring with your little one. After all, you both need a break and exploring after being at home for so long. Or worse, God forbid if the little one falls sick – atleast you don’t have to worry about loss of pay because you wouldn’t have used up all the leaves.

6. Be Worry-free

You are pregnant- a very unique & beautiful journey that any woman goes through. Your body is going through rapid changes each second, so don’t get bothered about anything. I know it’s more complicated than just saying so, but try to focus and be organised, and everything will be fine.

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