Policy Toolkits

Maternity Leave | Manager Checklist

Maternity Leave - Manager Checklist

As a manager you should be familiar with the DCU Maternity Leave Policy The guidance and advise below is in addition to, and should be read in conjunction with, the manager responsibilities set out in the policy. You may also be interested in reading the results of a research project conducted by a team from the DCU Business School highlighting post maternity leave best practices.

When a member of your team tells you they are pregnant, you should:

  • Congratulate them! (if appropriate)
  • Bring the DCU Maternity Leave Policy and Toolkit to their attention
  • Discuss the timing of sharing the news with the rest of the team
  • Encourage them to complete the Preliminary Risk Assessment for a Pregnant Employee and implement any recommendations in conjunction with the Health and Safety Department
  • Facilitate time off for the employee to attend pre-natal appointments
  • Discuss handover of work and plans for covering the maternity leave (if appropriate)
  • Agree contact arrangements for the period of leave
  • Discuss and agree approach to PhD students and interim responsibility if necessary
  • Discuss the employees interest in availing of Keep in Touch days and ensure that you keep a record of any days used, which can be taken as days in lieu on return from maternity leave 

When a member of your team is on/returning from maternity leave, you should:

  • Implement the agreed contact arrangements. It is good practice to maintain “reasonable contact” with your staff member whilst they are on leave. It is equally good practice to keep employees aware of changes going on in the workplace and invite them to social events. Even if your staff member requests no contact during her maternity leave, you have a duty to keep her informed in relation to any major changes in the working environment, e.g. restructures etc
  • Ensure that you receive appropriate notice of their intention to take 16 weeks unpaid leave and/or a Teaching Free Period on their return from maternity leave
  • Schedule a return to work meeting with the employee at a time that suits them (either before or, as soon as possible, after their return from maternity leave).  Discussions at this meeting should include the following:
    • Information about new policies and procedures or any that have changed
    • Introductions to new members of the team
    • Workload and priorities 
    • Research plans if they are availing of a teaching free semester
    • Any special arrangements that may be required e.g. access to breastfeeding facilities etc
    • Sources of support (e.g. Returning to Work Session, EAP, Maternity Buddy Scheme) and an assurance that you will support them in any way that you can as they navigate this potentially stressful phase of their career

 Printable Checklist