How To Give Advice About Maternity Leave

Any expecting moms out here?

This is for all the moms and expecting mothers out there. First of all, congratulations! A baby is truly a blessing, and can be a great way to strengthen familial bonds and relationships between people. Babies are a source of joy for everyone, especially the mother, but they don’t come without their fair share of struggles either.

One of the dilemmas faced by working mothers-to-be is the problem of maternity leave. All of you would have wondered about how the process works and what to do, right? You might’ve gotten some idea on how to proceed based on doctoral appointments and your trusty friend, the internet! We’re sure you’d also like to spread the awareness and knowledge among other expecting mothers-to-be.

Sometimes though, we all face problems when trying to accurately convey exactly what we’re trying to say.

Read on to learn exactly what to say, to make your conversational partner understand the ins and outs of taking maternity leave. Happy learning!

So, let’s start by taking a basic situation that all of us can relate to, and work from there.

*Your colleague has recently become pregnant and wants your advice on how best to proceed to take maternity leave*

Read on to find the overall flow, specific vocabulary, phrases, and expressions that can be used for an effective and fluent conversation on this topic. Right below is your guide to having an engaging conversation!

A conversation has specific phases that it goes through. Here is a quick look at we will teach you, to guarantee you a smooth conversation.   

Content : What is it that you are going to talk about?

           Use the ‘wh’ questions along with the keywords to help you put together the content.

  1. When is the baby due? – In 6 months, 7 months etc. (This will help in deciding when to take maternity leave)
  2. How much salary will you be paid? – Entire salary, 80% of salary etc.
  3. When should you apply for maternity leave? – 8 weeks prior to delivery, earlier as per company policy etc.
  4. How to apply for maternity leave? – Application form, E-mail, Conversation with manager etc.
  5. How many days off will you get? – 12 weeks, 26 weeks, 2 weeks etc.

                                  Choosing Contextual Vocabulary

Choosing contextual vocabulary to suit the scenario you’re talking about can be very important when it comes to giving depth and clarity to what you’re trying to say, as well as piquing your partner’s attention. In this case, you’re talking about maternity leave.

Listed below are a few words and phrases that could come in handy while elaborating on the topic.

  1. Career
  2. Company policy
  3. Benefits
  4. Eligibility
  5. Application process
  6. Legality/Maternity law
  7. Leave duration
  8. Social Security
  9. Medical bills
  10. Pregnancy
  11. Part-time job
  12. Paternity leave
  13. Creche
  14. Extension
  15. Miscarriage

Similarly. given below are a few descriptive words and phrases that you could use to make your conversation more interesting!

  1. Flexible working hours
  2. Employee-manager relationship
  3. Post-pregnancy problems
  4. Difficult pregnancies
  5. Supportive work ecosystem
  6. Understanding colleagues
  7. Supportive peer system
  8. Cooperative seniors/bosses
  9. Maternity initiatives
  10. Tedious medical procedures
  11. High consultation fees
  12. Planning work schedule
  13. Efficient health insurance schemes
  14. Sufficient mental health care
  15. Effective post-natal care.

Initiate the conversation by enquiring about the pregnancy.

I heard the good news, is it true? Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Ask if your conversational partner requires assistance concerning maternity leave.

Do you need any help with the maternity leave process? I had to go through it when my son Adarsh was born, so I’m pretty well-versed with the procedure.

Give a few tips on how best to navigate the maternity leave scene

  1. Ask for a reduction in workload. It is mandated by the law, so you’re entitled to ask  your manager for it.
  2. If your manager doesn’t give you maternity leave, you have the right to sue him in labour court, make sure you get your maternity leave!
  3. Make sure you tell your manager about your maternity leave plans well in advance so that they can shift the workload around and accommodate for your absence.
  4. If you provide adequate medical reasons, you can extend your leave by 30 days extra.
  5. Every company policy on maternity leave is different. You need to meet with HR and discuss the application forms to fill, emails to send and any other documents you need to sign.

End by telling your friend to ask you for anything if she has questions

‘Please don’t hesitate to ask me for help if you need anything’

A model answer would be as follows.

I heard the good news, is it true? Congratulations on your pregnancy! Do you need any help with the maternity leave process? I had to go through it when my son Adarsh was born, so I’m pretty well-versed with the procedure. When applying for maternity leave, it’s important to understand that every company policy on maternity leave is different. You need to meet with HR and discuss the application forms to fill, emails to send and any other documents you need to sign. Make sure you tell your manager about your maternity leave plans well in advance so that they can shift the workload around and accommodate for your absence. Ask for a reduction in workload. It is mandated by the law, so you’re entitled to ask  your manager for it. Did you know that if you provide adequate medical reasons, you can extend your leave by an extra 30 days! This is great in case you need post-natal care or any other pregnancy complications arise. That’s all I can think of for now, please don’t hesitate to ask me for help if you need anything else.

Karen Niroshana

Author Karen Niroshana

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