#1 tip for expecting parents: Complete your parental leave plan

You’re expecting… congratulations! Your parental leave has been agreed and you’re counting down the days, but now you’re wondering: How do I document everything for my manager? Welcome to your parental leave plan.

What is a parental leave plan?

Essentially, this is a plan for you and about you. It will mean different things to different people (dads too!) and in different roles. It will cover your details, your role, your career, and how you will manage it given you are expecting a baby. It will lay out the next 12-24 months: before, during and after parental leave from a career perspective.

Why have one?

This is your document and is not legally required, but could be the smartest career move you make. Think about it from your manager’s perspective. Your manager is most likely juggling many priorities, team members and requirements from senior management, and might not have time to understand the details surrounding your leave. Consider this a simple tool for her (and possibly others) to refer to in your absence. We recommend also sharing it with your mentor or sponsor if you have one.

What should it include?

Of course, you will still have a detailed handover plan for your team, and your own keeping in touch plan. The parental leave plan is a reference document for your manager that will enable her to find everything she needs in your absence. Even simple things like your personal email and a reminder of how you want to stay in touch. Below you will find a list of the areas you could include:

  • Your personal details.
  • Important dates (baby due date, your last work day, your expected return date).
  • Requested leave.
  • Your keeping in touch plan: How you would like to be kept updated by your manager, plus any pre-planned details of how you are planning to work or keep in touch if at all.
  • Specific team meetings, dinners, team days, etc. that you would like to be included in whilst on leave.
  • Handover plan (key items, deliverables and things your manager needs to know).

Everyone has different needs, so make it your own. It doesn’t have to be set in stone – you can always go back and review or edit it later. Think of this as a start.

It will make the parental leave process easier for you, and for your manager. Invest some time in this, and your manager will thank you for it.

Written by the  Circle In team.

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