Nowadays, it has been perfectly normal for expecting moms to work as long as they feel comfortable and capable. However, if a working mom has an abundant of workload on her back, this, amongst many other things, can make HR’s jobs more bitter. Besides growing belly, there are going to be many changes around the office that HR needs to deal with. Even if some of those procedures might be official and regulatory, discrimination is out of the question, and some rules and obligations need to be followed. Supporting the pregnant employee is what every reasonable employer must do, and here are some practical tips you should know when an employee is expecting.
Prepare for mindful work delegation
It goes without saying that work cannot be left undone simply because a pregnant employee is not currently able to finish it. The time a pregnant employee is either absent from work or not feeling her best at that time, you can advise other employees or co-workers to substitute her. It is only logical that everyday work must go with its regular way, and you should do your best to balance both sides effectively. Delegating tasks and responsibilities to other employees is the easiest and most efficient way to keep the business running and support your pregnant employee. You can even hire a temporary replacement until the pregnant employee gets back form pregnancy or maternity leave.
Be supportive and reasonable
First of all, you should avoid any form of stereotypic behavior. The HR department should treat the pregnant employee or an employee who has recently given birth and returned to works the same as you would treat any other worker who cannot do their jobs for a short period. What is more, a study has shown that new mothers are more likely to return to work if they had supportive managers who made reasonable working atmosphere and accommodations for their condition. Therefore, you have to stay open-minded, and even search for perfect gift ideas for women to get to your employee as a ‘welcome back’ present so that she would feel supported and respected.
Provide extra attention
Pregnant women tend to be needy, can experience mood swings, nausea, and might require extra care and attention. As their superiors, you must have compassion and understanding, but above all, you should make the working environment safe and comfortable. Allow them to go on longer and frequent breaks, organize transport to the work if they require one. It is your duty as a responsible employer to secure reasonable accommodation for the pregnant employee while she is at work. As an HR representative has in mind that pregnant employee would have needs and physical limitations. Lighter duty, more breaks, and treating her just as she wasn’t carrying a new life is advisable. The best solution can be to transfer her to a less strenuous or hazardous position for the time being.
Parental and extended leave
All future mothers are entitled to 12 weeks of parental leave to take care of a newborn. What is more, in case of ‘serious health conditions’ employees can take up another 12 weeks for pregnancy-related disability or medical impairment. An advisable tip is to ask the employee to provide an official input from her health care provider to confirm the pregnancy-related disability. Another duty of yours is to provide flexible hours if they need to address any personal needs. During her absence, you are entitled to provide a trustworthy and eligible substitute and calculate the cost of employee turnover so that work doesn’t remain unattended.
Expect the unexpected. That phrase seems to fit accordingly in this case. Treat the pregnant employee just as if she was a normal worker with a little bit of extra care and comprehension.
I just had my first employee inform me they will be needing maternity leave so I was clueless how to best approach the situation with my other employees. Great tips, thank you!