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5 Ways to Manage Returning to the Workplace after Parental Leave

Following on from my previous blog Does Being Healthily Pregnant Mean You Have To Stop Work? and now being back at work after Parental Leave with my second child, I thought it timely to share my experience.  

Windsor Group and I have successfully navigated my return to work (twice) and I have enjoyed getting back into the swing of things.

Here are my top 5 tips on returning back to the workplace for both the employee and the employer:

  1. Clear Communication: Ahead of the employee’s return date, ensure both parties are in regular communication. Checking in with the employee as they may be feeling nervous and anxious about returning to work and leaving their child is crucial. It’s a good idea to confirm the start date and time too.  
  2. Consider Breastfeeding and other flexible requirements: Check in with the employee around their possible requirements for Breastfeeding and/or expressing milk and provide a safe place for this to occur. Breastfeeding is a protected ground of discrimination under the Fair Work Act. There may be a requirement for other flexibility to support the return to the workplace. Check your state’s workplace health and safety laws here.
  3. Agreement on the role and responsibilities: This one is very important, especially if the employee is returning to different role or changed hours. Ensure the new position description is developed and agreed to. Arrange regular check ins with the manager to ensure the workload is manageable and objectives are on track.
  4. Onboarding: Depending on the length of time the employee has been on leave, it’s a good idea to conduct an onboarding process again. This ensures all current workplace information is shared and understood with the employee. Read more in our blog on onboarding here How to Onboard and Integrate your New Team Member
  5. Workspace and Handover: Ensure the employee’s workspace is set back up ready to go and adequate time is allocated for a handover if there was another employee acting in the role or taking care of their workload during the leave period.

All of the above combined contributes to a supportive and caring workplace environment ensuring that valued and skilled employees return to the workplace and continue to deliver great work.

– Written by Amy Mose

Details for entitlements when returning from parental leave

From Fair Work Ombudsman