Maternity leave is the amount of time that a new mom takes off work after giving birth.
Because of how important it is, new moms often become stressed when planning their maternity leave. Typically, maternity leave is made of many different benefits such as sick days, vacation days, personal days, holidays, unpaid family leave and short-term disability coverage. Many companies offer paternity leave for new fathers as well. No new parents want to experience any financial problems or miss out on valuable time with their new baby. This guide will help ease any stress that you may experience while planning for your maternity or paternity leave.
Recommendations for Planning Your Family Leave
There are many different things that you can do to make your family leave as easy as possible for your employer, school and family, starting with the following:
– Talk to your significant other about how much time you can afford to take off.
– Speak with your employer’s human resources department to discuss all of your options for maternity leave so that you’re able to plan accordingly.
The first step is to figure out what state and federal regulations relate to your situation. You can start by determining whether or not you’re eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.
Self-Employed Maternity Leave
You can apply for a personal disability policy before you get pregnant, but first establish that the policy you choose includes both pregnancy and postpartum coverage:
– Figure out how you can apply for disability coverage and carefully review your assets to plan out how to cover your expenses during your maternity leave.
– Speak with your clients and inform them of your maternity leave and how the person covering for you will help with whatever they may need. Let them know how long you’ll be gone and that you will continue to maintain contact with them.
Maternity Leave from College
A vast majority of colleges provide a family-leave policy for their students. You can apply for your leave by speaking to the dean. The dean of students will assist you in the application process:
– Make sure you speak to your professors about receiving your make-up assignments while you’re on leave.
– Determine whether or not your student loans, grants or scholarships will be affected.
What Is the FMLA and How Does It Work?
The acronym FMLA stands for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is a law that allows most employers to grant their employees up to 12 weeks of family leave after their child is born, or after they adopt a child. However, if both of the parents work at the same company, then the 12 weeks would be divided evenly. The FMLA is available for both men and women as long as they’re able to answer “yes” to these three questions:
- Have you worked at the same company for at least a year?
- In the past year, have you worked for at least 1,250 hours?
- Does the company that you work for employ at least 50 people?
Make sure to speak with your human resources department about any details regarding maternity leave and the FMLA.
Short-Term Disability Coverage
Short-term disability coverage will pay your salary for a certain amount of time due to medically-related issues. Some states require short-term disability coverage to be added in your benefits, but most large companies offer this type of coverage in all fifty states. You also have the option to purchase short-term disability coverage from your personal insurance provider. However, its length of coverage and price vary.
It’s extremely important to make sure that the coverage starts before you conceive your child because you can’t use this type of coverage after you have already conceived.
Can Your Vacation Days, Sick Days and Holiday Time Be Used?
A vast majority of companies will allow you to use your holiday time, vacation days and sick days as a contribution to your leave. In fact, some even require you to use these benefits before using any unpaid or disability days. Contact your human resources department to learn about your company’s policies for maternity leave.