How To Write a Maternity Leave Letter to Your Employer
Updated November 21, 2022
Maternity leave from work is the legally mandated period of absence granted to a mother before and after the birth of a child. This period is important for both mother and newborn to recover from birth and bond. Learning more about these letters can help you write one when you announce your pregnancy and begin planning the details of your maternity leave. In this article, we discuss the importance of sending a maternity leave letter to your employer, explore what to include, review how to write one, and provide a template and example to help you write your own.
Why write a maternity leave letter to your employer?
As an employee, it is important to write a maternity leave letter to document requests or announcements you make. When you inform your employer of your pregnancy, document your pregnancy and maternity leave details in writing. This allows you and your employer to understand clearly the terms of your request and its effects on your job and the company. After including necessary details about your leave, such as the duration and when it begins, and share the letter with your supervisor and any other relevant figures in the company.
What to include in a maternity leave letter
The following are a few of the important items to include in your maternity leave letter to your employer:
Date: Provide a date on your letter so your employer can reference when you submitted the letter and file your letter appropriately.
Greeting: It's best to start with a professional salutation like "Dear" and the person's name, if you know it.
Purpose of the letter: It is important that your letter states a clear purpose so your manager or HR representative immediately knows why you're providing the letter to them.
Date of your return to work: Include the date you're planning on returning to work to help your employer plan for your absence. Make sure the recipient knows that this can vary depending on your delivery date and any doctor's orders to remain at home.
Outstanding projects: If you're currently working on any projects that may be outstanding when you go on maternity leave, make sure your manager is aware of them.
Contact information: Include your contact information so HR knows how to reach you if they want to communicate something important or follow up on your leave.
Signature: Leave two to four lines between the closing line and typing your name so that you can sign the letter. Include your first name, middle initial (if you have one), and your last name.
How to write a maternity leave letter
Here are steps to follow when writing a maternity leave letter of your own:
1. Assess your company's maternity leave guidelines
Before sending in your maternity leave letter, read through your company's guidelines and ensure you understand them completely. If you have questions, reach out to your manager for clarification. Assess and adhere to the criteria stated in the maternity leave guidelines.
2. Send your letter in good time
Aim to write your letter as soon as possible to give your employer enough time to make arrangements for your absence. The leave policy likely includes the minimum number of days to give notice for your maternity leave. Send in your letter as early as possible to avoid any confusion.
3. Use formal language and a professional tone
As with all formal letters, your maternity leave letter needs a professional tone and formal language. Avoid the use of unnecessary slang and idioms as much as possible. If your company has a style guide or sheet, consult it to help with appropriate language and formality.
4. Use proper formatting
Use a font that is easy to read for your maternity leave letter. Simple fonts to consider include Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, and Cambria. Avoid cursive or novelty fonts such as Comic Sans and Caveat, as they may be inappropriate for writing a formal letter.
5. Explain why you are writing your letter
When writing your letter, be clear and direct as much as possible. Share how long you intend to be on maternity leave and include the specific dates of the beginning and end of your leave. Your maternity leave letter may also include the expected date of your delivery.
6. Provide your assignment plan
After you state your reason for writing the letter, let your employer know more about your plans. If you are open to the idea, you may suggest working from home before or some time after you give birth. If you do not wish to work during your leave, suggest that a competent coworker handle specific projects in your absence. The company may also choose to hire another employee on a short contract to cover your maternity leave.
7. Provide your transition plan
Reassure your employer that you still value your work and role in the company. Share how you intend to re-integrate yourself into the work schedule after you return from your leave. If you are unsure how your lifestyle might change after giving birth, be honest. Inform your employer that you are sharing your transition or return plan at a later date.
8. Share your expected level of communication
When you conclude your letter, tell your employer precisely how much communication you wish to maintain during your leave. Let them know if you intend to maintain minimal contact by working from home or if you intend to stay away from work completely. Your company needs to know exactly what to expect from you during your leave.
9. Express appreciation
Thank your employer for their understanding and support during this important time away from work. This is more than just a formality, as it shows that you are paying attention to your company's policies. You can give a few details that are specific about the company policies as you are expressing your appreciation.
Related: How To End a Letter
Maternity leave letter template
Here is a simple template to help you write your own maternity leave letter to your employer:
[Your first and last name]
[Your job title]
[Their job title]
Dear [Employer's name],
This letter is to inform you of my pregnancy and intention to take full maternity leave of [allocated number of weeks]. I plan to start my maternity leave on [starting date] until [date of return]. I hope to complete all pending projects between now and [starting date]. The expected date of my delivery is [date].
[Include your level of accessibility. If you plan to work from home, state that here.] While I am on leave, I suggest that [name of coworker] manages [name of project] until my return to work. [Include any necessary details on the substitution proposal.] Please consider these recommendations and let me know if there are any concerns or problems. I am also happy to train or prepare a detailed handover document if you choose to hire a contract employee in my absence.
While I am on leave, please contact me at [phone number] or [email] if necessary. If there are any changes that affect my return to work, I will inform you as soon as possible. I apologize if my absence causes any inconvenience, and thank you in advance for your understanding and support during this exciting time. I look forward to returning to work with you after my maternity leave.
Example maternity leave letter
Here is an example of a maternity leave letter to an employer:
Sophie Reynolds Marketing manager
September 13, 2021
Chief executive officer
Appleton Media Inc.
456 Mamie Street
Dear Ms. Barrett,
Subject: Maternity Leave Request
I am writing this letter to inform you I am pregnant and intend to take maternity leave for a period of 12 weeks. I plan to begin my leave on November 8, 2021, and return to work on February 1, 2021. Attached is my medical form with my doctor's confirmation of my pregnancy and the expected date of my delivery. I plan to complete all unfinished work before November 8, 2021.
While I am on leave, I do not intend to continue working from home. I plan to delegate some of my responsibilities to Cassandra and Melanie, with whom I have worked on various projects before now. Melanie, in particular, has been working with me on the Rainbow social media campaign for a long while and can carry on with the client while setting up new campaigns. Please let me know if there are any concerns with this suggestion.
Do not hesitate to contact me via my email email@example.com or (555)-123-4567. I can inform you if my plans change for any reason. Thank you for your support, and I look forward to returning to work.
[Your signature] Sophie Reynolds
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