An essential guide on how to prevent being without coverage from Maternity Leave.

When a team member takes maternity leave, their legal rights are safeguarded, including the entitlement to return to their position following a justified absence.

While the task of finding a replacement for an expecting mother may appear complex and costly, it doesn't have to be!

With over 12 years of experience, we specialise in placing temporary professionals to seamlessly cover key staff members who are on:

  • Ordinary maternity leave and additional maternity leave (for up to 52 weeks)
  • Ordinary paternity leave
  • Ordinary adoption leave
  • Additional paternity leave, or not-more-than four weeks of parental leave.

Pro-active planning

It is crucial to begin planning as soon as the employee notifies you of their pregnancy. This proactive approach will help prevent being left without coverage and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Expecting mothers can present various challenges for your membership organisation, such as

  • The potential loss of a key team member for up to 52 weeks
  • Effort and time associated with recruiting a replacement
  • A need to navigate the employee's rights surrounding maternity leave, including holidays, statutory maternity pay (SMP), flexible working arrangements, and pension contributions.

A top tip:

  • Initiate your planning process promptly upon the employee's announcement of their pregnancy to avoid being caught off guard without coverage or risking legal non-compliance.

Recruiting a fixed-term contract, temporary replacement

Standard recruitment protocols should be followed when seeking a temporary replacement, which includes outlining a precise job description. It is crucial to clearly state that the position is fixed-term for the entirety of the employee's maternity leave.

If you're unsure of the terminology to use here, we can support you as we have placed several fixed-term contract workers in membership organisations to cover maternity, and other types of leave including adoption and paternity.

Ensure as smooth a transition as possible

Ensure that you have up-to-date professional and job specifications by meeting with the employee who is going on maternity leave to discuss their current role and responsibilities.

It is ideal to have a seamless transition between the departing employee and their replacement.

A top tip:

  • Try to schedule a day of overlap between the start of the leave and the new temporary worker's start date. This way, the employee going on leave can provide guidance and support to the incoming cover, ensuring a smooth handover process.

Efficiently on-boarding new team members

Successfully integrating temporary professionals into your team is crucial to ensure they feel valued and part of the team, from receiving equal treatment from permanent members of the team to feeling included and involved. This includes understanding your organisation's culture and goals, as well as building relationships with key colleagues.

Top Tip:

Our free guide has many top tips on how to effectively on-board temporary and interim staff

Bringing in temporary cover will facilitate a smoother return to work for your employee, enhancing their effectiveness and productivity.

The fixed-term contract workers we place with our membership-focused clients bring a wealth of experience and skills to your sector and industry. These seasoned professionals are dedicated to leaving a positive impression, as they wholeheartedly understand the importance of referrals and recommendations.

They strive to excel in the role they undertake, ensuring a seamless handover process for the individual on maternity, adoption, paternity, or parental leave to return to a smooth and professional transition.

The right to return to work

Employees who are on ordinary maternity leave, adoption leave, paternity leave, additional paternity leave, or parental leave for up to four weeks have the right to return to their position once their leave is over.

If it is not feasible for the employee to resume their previous role, they must be provided with a similar job that offers equal or better pay and benefits. It is essential to handle replacements in a manner that supports those to transition back to work smoothly.

We can help

We provide a swift and efficient turn-around from the initial brief to the appointment of your Maternity cover, please contact Anna Christofis our Director of Temporary Recruitment for more information.