After initial appointments it’s a great opportunity to get together with your boss and chat through the plan for the coming months, especially to put yours and your employers mind at ease about the future and make things as straightforward as possible.
Will you need to train colleagues in specialist areas, will you be involved in recruitment for mat cover?
For me this time was quite unnerving as giving away some of my clients or responsibilities was very daunting but it’s something that you need to do for yourself, also for colleagues that need training and to be given the opportunity to develop professionally in your absence.
It is also worth speaking to your employer about the Maternity pay situation and anything else you may need to officially confirm to them.
To try and alleviate added stress in what is already an exciting but nerve-wracking time, it’s a good idea to have an idea as to how long you may want off and what your pay entitlements are. For example, if Statutory Maternity Pay only is applicable to you, what’s your plan around being off, have you thought about savings and putting money back?
You will no doubt be thinking of so many different things and sometimes even just getting through the day in the early stages, particularly if you are feeling really tired.
You will be given a MAT B1 form around your 20-week scan, this is something that you will need to make sure you give your employer a copy of as soon as you can. Around this time talk to your partner to get an idea of when you would like to finish and when your last working day would be.
Again, this can change, but it’s good for you and your employer to have a date in mind so you can work towards that date. Of course, these things don’t often go according to plan as you can’t mess with mother nature, but you get my drift.
Ultimately, it’s a big deal to you and your employer but it is also the most exciting time, so embrace every moment and be as open as you can be about your needs and how you are feeling but also how you can support the business.
Starting your family is such an important and exciting time in your life and your employer will want to support you wholeheartedly as we have here. It can be difficult to accept the absence and the effect on the business so having open honest conversations are really important.
If you’re an employee needing advice, we recommend ACAS. They are really helpful and have loads of information about maternity leave entitlement.