Maternity Leave Planning Checklist for Staff

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

Ensuring a family leave absence is effectively supported and planned requires a number of activities to be undertaken/issues to be considered, often requiring close liaison between the manager, Principle Investigator (PI) and the staff member.

The checklist below is available to support this planning process for all staff intending to go on a period of maternity leave.  A Managers Maternity Leave Planning Checklist is also available.

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

Before Leave

  • Read the University’s Maternity Policy and Procedure, as this provides an overview of the whole process, the provisions you may be entitled to and what will be required from both you and your manager at different stages of the process;
  • Announce pregnancy to your manager as soon as is reasonably practicable as this will provide more time to consider how to plan for the absence and any ongoing commitments e.g. research activity;
  • Participate in regular risk assessments providing any additional information you may have gained from your health visitor/GP;
  • With your manager, discuss and agree the appropriate communication of your pregnancy with colleagues and key stakeholders;
  • With your manager, discuss and agree any additional arrangements for during your pregnancy, i.e. antenatal appointments, workload allocation, rest breaks etc;
  • Ensure you have received your MAT B1 certificate from your midwife or GP, to be submitted with your Maternity Leave Notification Form;
  • Consider your maternity leave entitlement and the options for maternity pay and leave;
  • With your manager, discuss and agree plans for maternity arrangements i.e. cover for you and your workload during your period of leave; and any handover arrangements. In relation to research for example this may include working with your manager/PI to define a clear set of targets and objectives for the research which can be reviewed upon the return to work, ensuring that these include timescales so that they can be monitored and checked.
  • Complete your Maternity Leave Notification Form, which requires your manager’s signature, and submit this with your MAT B1 certificate, to the Payroll Team;
  • With your manager, discuss and agree contact during the leave period;
  • With your manager, discuss and agree the use of KIT days (Optional);
  • Discuss with your manager how you may wish to use your annual leave leading up to and/or following your leave period (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).;
  • Consider utilising the informal support provided by Parent 2 Parent (P2P), part of the Parents@TUOS network. P2P aims to support staff in preparing for, taking, or returning from parental leave by providing an informal mentor or supporter, known as a buddy.

During Leave

  • Maintain the agreed contact with your manager;
  • If utilised, ensure that KIT days (10 maximum) are used as agreed;
  • If you wish to alter your return date, ensure you have provided the appropriate notice;
  • With your manager, discuss and agree the plans for your return to work, e.g. breastfeeding arrangements and risk assessments (if applicable), re-induction and workload;
  • If considering flexible working arrangements following your return to work, allow adequate time to discuss this with your manager and submit the formal application prior to your return;
  • Consider childcare vouchers, if applicable;
  • Consider any additional support you may need upon your return and discuss this with your manager, e.g. the arrangements for your re-induction;
  • With your manager, consider and identify any potential training requirements for your return;
  • Confirm your actual return date with your manager, including any annual leave which has been agreed;
  • Consider utilising the informal support provided by Parent 2 Parent (P2P), part of the Parents@TUOS network. P2P aims to support staff in preparing for, taking, or returning from parental leave by providing an informal mentor or supporter, known as a buddy.

Returning from Leave

  • Ensure breastfeeding arrangements and risk assessments are in place (if applicable);
  • Complete appropriate re-induction programme;
  • With your manager, discuss and agree SRDS objectives;
  • Ensure you receive appropriate updates on new or amended systems of work, and any new members of staff or staff departures;
  • Arrange regular meetings with your manager to discuss how your return is going;
  • Review flexible working arrangements, if appropriate;
  • You may be interested in the wide variety of free Health and Wellbeing services available to staff;
  • Seek appropriate support if required;
  • Consider utilising the informal support provided by Parent 2 Parent (P2P), part of the Parents@TUOS network. P2P aims to support staff in preparing for, taking, or returning from parental leave by providing an informal mentor or supporter, known as a buddy.


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: www.sheffield.ac.uk/hr/guidance/index

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