Maternity Leave Planning Checklist for Managers

The following guidance should be read in conjunction with the University’s Maternity Leave Policy and Procedure.

It is beneficial to both the staff member and their manager to start planning for maternity leave as early as possible. The following checklist is provided to assist the manager to plan for the period of leave.

Also available is a combined Maternity Leave Planning Checklist, for the member of staff and their line manager to work through together.

Before Leave

  • Ensure the staff member is aware of, able to access and reads the University’s Maternity Leave Policy and Procedure, as this is likely to confirm the answers to a number of questions they may have. It also will enable you to identify your responsibilities, as a manager, in supporting this process;
  • Conduct regular risk assessments, seeking input from the staff member;
  • With the member of staff, discuss and agree the appropriate communication of their pregnancy with colleagues and key stakeholders;
  • With the member of staff, discuss and agree any additional arrangements required during the pregnancy, i.e. antenatal appointments, workload allocation, rest breaks etc;
  • Ensure the member of staff has received their MAT B1 certificate from their midwife or GP, to be submitted with their Maternity Leave Notification Form, as written confirmation from the Payroll Team cannot be produced until this has also been provided;
  • Consider maternity leave funding/research council funding extensions, if appropriate;
  • With the member of staff, discuss and agree plans for maternity arrangements e.g. cover for their workload during their period of leave;
  • Ensure the member of staff understands their entitlements during the period of leave;
  • Sign the staff member’s completed Maternity Leave Notification Form, which should be submitted with the MAT B1 certificate, to the Payroll Team;
  • With the member of staff, discuss and agree contact during the leave period, including KIT days (Optional);
  • Discuss with the staff member how they wish to use their annual leave prior to and after the maternity leave period. This is important in supporting staff to ensure that they seek to take rest periods from work during the leave year, whilst also enabling the manager to plan to meet their business needs. The use of annual leave can also be an effective tool when supporting the individual’s return to work. The expectation is that most annual leave could be taken during the leave year it is accrued, however, some carryover could be agreed by the manager if for example the individual was unable to take it before the maternity leave period and the manager felt able to accommodate this/it would support their business needs. [It should also be noted that where annual leave is used to extend a period of maternity absence i.e. tagged immediately before the start of the maternity leave period or after the end of it, this element of the absence will not receive any separate funding from outside the department (e.g. the central maternity fund) – as all costs associated with annual leave for all staff are borne by the individual’s department]. All requests for annual leave remain subject to the managers approval. Please note that any period of annual leave taken following the birth of the baby (i.e. the end of the maternity leave period) will be deemed to be a return to work and will be treated in the same way as annual leave taken at any other point in employment.

During Leave

  • Maintain the agreed contact with the member of staff;
  • Ensure that, if utilised, KIT days (10 maximum) are used effectively;
  • With the member of staff, discuss and agree the plans for the return to work, i.e. breastfeeding arrangements and risk assessments (if applicable), re-induction and workload;
  • Create appropriate re-induction programme for the member of staff;
  • Consider office arrangement for the member of staff’s return;
  • Consider flexible working applications, if applicable;
  • Consider additional support the staff member may need upon their return;
  • With the member of staff, consider and identify any potential training requirements for their return;

Returning from Leave

  • Ensure breastfeeding arrangements and risk assessments are in place (if applicable);
  • Administer an appropriate re-induction programme;
  • With the member of staff, discuss and agree SRDS objectives (if applicable);
  • Ensure the member of staff receives appropriate updates on new or amended systems of work, and any new members of staff or staff departures;
  • Arrange regular meetings with the member of staff to discuss how their return is going and ensuring any reasonable identified support is put in place;
  • Review flexible working arrangements, if appropriate;

Further guidance and support 

FamilyFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have any questions relating to all aspects of family leave, the FAQs below have been developed to support and guide both staff and managers.

FamilyFamily Leave

If you need information, guidance and support relating any of the family leave provisions available to staff at the University of Sheffield, this can be found at the link below.

FamilyCharities & Support Networks

The following links provide details of charities and support networks which may be helpful to both staff and managers.

JuiceJuice, Everyday Health & Wellbeing

Juice helps you take care of your everyday health and wellbeing at work, bringing together a range of services, guidance and activities, creating a remarkable place to work and further information can be found at the link below.

Looking for something else?

There is a wealth of information, guidance and support available from Human Resources relating to all aspects of employment and supporting policies and procedures. An index of information can be found at:

Alternatively, if you are unable to find the information you require, please contact your HR Team contact