From Working Woman to Working Mother
Returning to work after a maternity leave can be a difficult transition for a new mother. It is a lot of work to care for an infant and some women lack sleep during this period. She may still have some hormonal adjustments to deal with as well, so it can be a very emotional time. Even if her intentions have always been to return to work, when the time comes she will realize that it is harder than she thought it would be.
Help her transition back into the workforce by coming back midweek instead of on a Monday. This will give her a few days to work before having a break during the weekend.
Why is my employee crying on her first day back from maternity leave?
She is probably crying because she misses her baby, so don't think that it's because she doesn't like her job any longer or doesn't want to be there. Her time off work was probably spent 24/7 with her infant and now they are suddenly apart. It is a difficult adjustment. Each day will get easier for her.
Chapter 19 talks about the importance of a balance between work and family life. Some women end up not returning from a maternity leave because they want to stay home with their baby. This will always be an issue and will never change. Others may want to stay home but can't afford it. You can take a step above and beyond the work-life balance issues in Chapter 19 and do a few things to encourage women to return to work.
Don't just offer a reduced workweek or flexible scheduling. Decrease the number of hours that are required to work in order to be eligible for benefits. Instead of requiring a forty-hour workweek to qualify, reduce it to thirty-six and continue to offer paid time off for vacation, sick leave, and holidays.
FMLA offers twelve weeks of protected job leave when a baby joins the family, but you don't have to stop there. You can offer an unpaid leaveof-absence program for as long as you wish. If you find that women aren't coming back to work after a twelve-week maternity leave, offer a longer leave period of nine or twelve months. Hire a temporary worker to cover while the new mother is at home with her baby. If she still decides not to return to work, you'll have someone already trained to take over the job permanently. If she does come back, you may not want to part with the temp, and find a way to hold on to that person, too.