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Parental Leave: What to Expect When Your Star Player is Expecting

Jun 24, 2014 2:17:37 AM

in Expert Series

Learning that an employee is expecting a baby is a very exciting experience. While there are many celebrations to come, the feeling of excitement is often coupled with another emotion for colleagues and managers - anxiety.

As an employer, when your star player shares their pregnancy news, you must consider several important questions:

  1. When are they leaving?
  2. Who is going to do their job?
  3. How will this impact our business?
  4. What do we need in order to prepare?

While these are all valid concerns, with some simple planning, preparing for the departure of an expecting parent can be a seamless process. The following steps can ensure that you are ready for your employee’s leave, and that the experience is a happy one for both the employer and employee.

Develop a Parental Leave Policy and Procedure

  • Outline benefits for your organization's Parental Leave policy. Will you provide top ups while they are on their leave? Will they continue to receive extended medical benefits for the duration of the leave?
  • Develop the parameters surrounding who is eligible to receive Parental Leave benefits.
  • Include guidelines for maximum duration of Parental Leave.
  • Describe the preferred process for requesting Parental Leave.
  • Identify the process for Record of Employment submission.

Establish an HR Game Plan

  • Identify key stakeholders who will be involved in the recruitment process and training of the incumbent.
  • Evaluate how to best arrange coverage. Options include the temporary promotion of existing employee, division of duties internally, or recruiting for a temporary replacement.
  • Establish a timeline for when the recruitment process must be completed, how long the training process takes, and how much overlap between the incumbent and your employee will be necessary.

Set the Incumbent up for Success

  • Develop any training materials needed to explain the responsibilities and processes of the role.
  • Ensure the incumbent is provided enough training and crossover time with the departing employee to understand the requirements of the role.
  • Ensure that adequate resources and tools are provided and easily accessible to the incumbent.
  • Create a welcoming environment for the incumbent to make them feel like a member of the team, rather than a “temp.” This increases the likelihood of retention for the entire leave.

Most importantly, do not wait until the last minute to prepare for your employee's leave. The sooner you prepare for the leave by clearly outlining your organization's Parental Leave policy and arranging coverage, the less stressful the process will be, and the smoother the transition of responsibilities.

Is your star player expecting? Contact TPD today to outline your Parental Leave Policy and arrange coverage for their absence.
Contact TPD

Rikka Vassal, CHRP, HR Managerrikkablog

Rikka brings a very comprehensive background in HR to the TPD team, having spent the past 6+ years in the Recruitment, Staffing and HR Services divisions. As a result, she has extensive hands on HR experience and knowledge spanning change management, compensation analysis, recruitment, performance management, worker’s compensation, training and development, employee engagement, and policy development. Rikka is passionate about helping people, both by helping them find careers that are the right fit, or by helping them grow in their existing positions.

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