The Importance of Managing Maternity

The importance of managing maternity – top 5 reasons 

There are many reasons why its important to managing maternity leave – here are our top 5 crucial reasons to manage maternity.

  1.  There is a legal, reputational and cost risk to your business.  The risk of miscommunication runs high during the period of maternity and return – it’s a massive period of change for the employee, the team and the manager.  The EEOC reported in 2013 that ‘pregnancy discrimination claims have been steadily rising over the past 15 years.  One of our national priorities is to address issues involving pregnancy-related limitations.’ 
  1. Poor management can have an effect on the team member’s health and wellbeing.  A National Childbirth Trust (NCT) survey of over 1500 working mums reported that ‘33% of respondents reported concern about the attitude of their boss as being one of the main worries about returning to work.’  In the maternity coaching workshops we run, most returners worry about the support they will or won’t get from their managers, especially on return.  It’s a reminder that employees most often leave their manager, not their company.
  1. The way a maternity leave is handled affects your whole team.  In a 2012 study, it was found that ‘maternity leave does not only affect the mother but has a wider impact on the work colleagues and the company or organisation where she works.’ Consider that many team members observe how a maternity returner is treated, to determine whether they themselves would consider staying in this company when having their family. 
  1. Managers have that golden opportunity to be able to retain women in the business and to strengthen the female talent pipeline.  In 2013, law firm Slater Gordon carried out a survey to 2000 respondents, which identified that half of women returners were overlooked for promotion, and that more than one third had responsibility taken away.  Consider the wasted productivity and talent! 
  1. Not all managers are naturally skilled in finer communication skills and knowledge of the maternity process.  These skills need to be taught, and reinforced with practical reminders and the availability of clear guidelines and advice from HR.

We offer online and face to face learning for line managers around managing maternity.  See further details here.

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