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Maternity leave buddy

(8 Posts)
lhaigh1 Wed 26-Mar-14 16:06:56

Hi everyone,

I've recently joined a group of women at work dedicated to making life easier and less stressful for those about to embark on becoming parents and those that are on maternity/paternity already.

What I'd like to try and find out is weather anyone has had any experience of a maternity leave buddy system? This is where women on maternity leave (or men on paternity leave) have a dedicated support person, other than their line manager, to ask questions or just have a general catch up?

Coming back to work after any period of absence can be truly daunting, never mind when you have to face separation from the most precious thing in your life!

Thanks in advance

JeanSeberg Thu 27-Mar-14 11:15:33

I'm not sure how it would work. What kind of questions do you foresee they might have?

It sounds like a good idea in theory but not sure how it would work in reality.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Thu 27-Mar-14 11:20:37

I think it sounds like a nice idea too, but when I think more about it, I also wonder what the "point" of it is. What questions about work could you possibly have while you're off on mat/pat leave?

Will the buddies all be parents too?

lhaigh1 Thu 27-Mar-14 15:12:02

They can ask anything or just call for a chat, sometimes it could be something as simple as "i'm dreading going back to work" or "how do i apply for flexible working".

Many often feel they dont want to talk to their line manager about how worrying it can be going back into large organisations, so much changes in so little time. We just want to try and bridge the gap.

I just wondered if anyone had any experince of a similar system or think it might be a good idea. If it's not a good idea that's fine, did you struggle going back into the workplace? if so what could your employer have done to make it easier for you?

All the buddies will be parents too.

JeanSeberg Thu 27-Mar-14 15:19:23

I think the time and resource would be better put into making sure the company in general and their line manager in particular provides the correct level of support before, during and after maternity/paternity leave. Explaining what their rights are, how long they are able to take off, doing their best to accommodate requests for flexible working, keeping in contact while they are off etc etc.

I'm sure what you are trying to set up is well-intentioned but I think you need to be a lot clearer about what the goals of this group are otherwise you will end up wasting a lot of time and resource that takes staff away from their core duties.

Blueberrybaby Thu 27-Mar-14 18:00:22

I think it is well intentioned but to be honest, I think all you really need to do as others have suggested is make sure that the persons manager is up to speed on all things maternity before they go off and also that they know they can contact the relevant HR person to ask any questions while they are on leave. To be honest if I wanted to catch up on things (gossip!) I just contacted colleagues who I was friendly with. I didn't really want to know about what else was going on!

baffledmum Sat 29-Mar-14 22:04:55

My employer has a mat leave buddy system in operation. You have one person (you can choose whom or HR can recommend someone) and they are responsible for keeping you up to speed throughout your leave. My employer runs, for example, pension awareness sessions and one seminar is specifically set aside for parents / careers with children to attend. It is billed as a family friendly session.

wheresthelight Sat 29-Mar-14 22:33:12

there is no support at all at my work for parents on maternity/paternity leave. even when i had meetings with HR prior to having dd they had less idea than i did about the regulations etc. They were and are a complete joke so a buddy system would be amazing!!

I have spent 2 weeks trying to get my current line manager to answer a question pertaining to holidays accrued as i need to know about what i will have when/if i go back as we are struggling with childcare at the moment. He hasn't bothered to reply so i have had to forward it to his boss as i have no other contacts at home as they removed my access to webmail when i was off sick during pregnancy

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