If you’re expecting a baby - and planning on coming back to work after your baby is born - here are some important questions to ask your Human Resources rep.
Congratulations, your family is expanding!
There will a slew of important conversations that will need to happen between now and then - and to get you started, we’ve compiled a list of questions to take to HR.
First - the nitty-gritty when it comes to parental leave, regardless of if it’s paid or not.
How much parental leave am I eligible to receive?
How is it granted? (ie. directly from the company, short-term disability provider, state benefits, etc)
Does it need to be used all at once, or can it be broken into blocks?
Are there any restrictions on using vacation time/PTO to supplement parental leave?
What forms do I need to fill out to receive leave benefits?
Where are these forms located?
How or to whom do I submit completed forms?
What due dates do I need to watch out for?
If you’ll be receiving paid benefits, you’ll want to know how and when those benefits will be paid.
Who pays the benefit?
Is it paid by direct deposit or a physical check?
What is the pay schedule (ie. when can you expect to receive the payment)?
You’ll want to know what current benefits will continue during your leave.
Will my vacation time continue to accrue during leave?
Will my insurance continue during leave?
Will my retirement contributions continue during leave?
And finally, find out what other employer-sponsored benefits are available to expectant and new parents. These might include:
Childcare assistance, including backup childcare
Family or parent coaching
Parent-focused employee resource groups or affinity groups
Access to an Employee Assistance Program
This is definitely not an exhaustive list of questions; more will arise as you get closer to your baby’s arrival.
Starting conversations around your parental leave will help set the tone for your time away and for your eventual return. By having open and thoughtful conversations, you are instilling confidence in your manager, team, and colleagues that you’ll set them up for success during your absence, and that you’ll be ready to take on the challenges of being a working parent when you return.
Getting (and staying!) organized will go a long way to help make the transition easier. Want a downloadable version of these questions? Click here to receive our printable version!