How to ensure a smooth handover to and from your cover
Returning to work
You've had several months out and that may have given you a fresh perspective on anything from clients' challenges, internal processes, people dynamics or the industry as a whole. Your ideas could be revolutionary in terms of what and how your team operates so remember your value and be confident to speak up when you see different ways of doing things.
Coming back to the hours you were working before pregnancy can feel daunting. Gradually ramping up the number of days/hours you work by using accrued holiday could be good for you and your team depending on what's happing in the business. Imagine a client has a major event before you're due back and your team is keen to have you involved, – you could suggest an earlier start back date in exchange for a phased return (eg two days/week).
Just as you acclimatised your covering colleague(s) to the role(s) they were taking on whilst you were away, doing the same for you is good practice. A few days' handover time with your maternity cover can make all the difference to how confident you feel, so do spell out the benefits to your line manager if she or he hasn't arranged it.
Solicitor, in-house public sector
Kate Gillies, solicitor, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP
Lindsay Anderson, solicitor, Stewart & Watson
Over To You
- What three actions would most help you have a smooth return?
- How can you set your line manager up to successfully support you?
- What will you do next?
- Also see the other 11 guides in our Parents in the Profession series
- Statutory Maternity Pay and Leave
- Statutory Paternity Pay and Leave
- Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave
- Shared Parental Pay and Leave
- Chapter Two 'Keep in touch and ask for what you want' in Mothers Work! How to Get a Grip on Guilt and Make a Smooth Return to Work by Jessica Chivers (Hay House, 2011)