Post # 1
I might need some Canadian preggo bees to chime in here more than anything, I don’t know with limited maternity leave time (US) versus the time we get here if this will skew the answers!
My boss and I are very close so can have very open conversations about this, but we both have very different ideas on how my position should be covered while I am on maternity leave (I will be off 11-14 months, depending if Darling Husband takes some time too!) I technically have two bosses, one who is on mat leave now and he is doing both roles, so his idea isn’t uncommon in the office.
He wants to divvy up my role between a few of my colleagues (all of who I am technically “above” in terms of role responsibility/pay) whereas I would like a true maternity leave coverage, with job posting, interviews, one person to work my position while I am gone.
Has anyone had experience with either option? I think it’s silly to divvy up what I do, I think it makes it very messy and without even considering how much I think it would be to ask those people to do all of that (likely with no increase in pay) I just don’t think is right. I do a lot of work, three very different types of work (this is where he thinks it would be easy to divide) but with a high level of accountability.
I want one person to take my role, I think it’s cleaner in terms of I know who I am training, what they are left with and not left guessing who is doing what.
I am not so much looking for “his idea is better” or mine is, but has anyone had experience working with their boss to really figure out what option is best suited to their role? How did you work through it? What was their side/thoughts, what were yours, what did you end up doing?
Post # 3
I’m not in Canada and only have 12 weeks for maternity. But I do work in HR and for any leaves we hire temperary employees through local agencies. I work with the managers and figure out what the needs are and what aspects cannot be left uncovered. We then determine if a fully time or part time temporary replacement is best.
Can I ask why is matters who does you job? I would just voice that you don’t want your collegues to feel overworked and it’s ultimately your boss’ decision to decide if he wants to burden his employees with more tasks.
Post # 4
I haven’t told my boss yet but I have a plan in place when I decide to tell him. I work for a smaller company – like 60 people but there are only 2 in my department. I’ve been needing help recently anyway so i’ve been thinking about seeing if he wants to bring someone on internally to take over some of what i do that way she can help now but also take over my stuff when i take maternity leave (and even if i decide not to come back at all) I’m going to try and see if I can work from home after my maternity leave but i don’t know if he will go for it. I have several options to talk to him about. I’m pretty close with my boss so i’m pretty confident we will work something out that fit us both.
Post # 5
I’m in the US so we only get about 3 months, but ideally we have a temp/contract person come in and cover the person who is out on leave. Some of the work inevitably does get redistributed among coworkers, but the bulk of it falls to the temp coverage. However, it doesn’t always work out, either we can’t find someone suitable, or they quit halfway through, or they just can’t handle the work, so it often does get split up among coworkers instead. It never goes as well and the person comes back from leave with a big back log (and this is only after 3 months!).
Our colleagues in the UK, who get about a year off, usually have temp coverage as well– same deal in that they aren’t always the best or most qualified, but frequently the temp ends up getting hired after their mat coverage is up anyway.
Post # 6
US here and I had my maternity leave last fall. At where I work we have back up people who if we are out on vacation or what not do our job.
Post # 7
I am currently pregnant (in the US), but last year my project manager went on maternity leave and I took over about 90% of her responsibilities. I think it was a great opportunity for me to showcase my skills to the company and gain some more responsiblity while she was out for 4 months. So I guess i’m speaking for the people “below” you and often we appreciate the chance to take on more responsibilty. In my experience that is one of the best (or only) ways to really work your way up in a company – to fill someone’s shows when they are no longer there (for whatever the reason may be).
Post # 8
@roxy821: I totally agree that it comes down to my boss, but he and I are meeting to discuss our options and I just was looking for anyone who’d had either option before! Again, it will be very lighthearted in terms of he is very open to my ideas, but of course I have to be open to his too!
I feel like it matters who does my job because I have some events that happen that are the same event, offered different times of year, other events that are once a year but varying levels of internal and external communication and with that part of the job I feel like if multiple people are doing those events my office will be in pieces with people using my previous work to build these events. If one person is doing it, there will be no guesses or confusion from my external folks on who is doing what, just cleaner to be on person. One person coming to me (even while I am off) that I can support.
The other two parts of my job, one part needs one person for sure, as it has a high level of external communication and multiple levels of type of person we communicate with at verying repetitive levels. The third part of my job anyone can do (we have 6 others that do it!) but the timing of it compliments the other parts of what I do and it is why it’s built into my role.
Post # 9
@NYC.BOS.CHI: If my position were to go to full actual coverage it would be for someone (we already know who it would be) to move up for the year to get extra experience, so I am totally down for that! If it were to be split, everyone would be totally capable and in some cases have done parts of my job in some capacity, it’s not the work being “hard” I just think it’s the balance of the different parts of my job, as well as it being cleaner and more consistent for one person to do it 🙂
Post # 10
Where I work it is very much standard to hire someone to cover the full duration of the mat leave.
When I eventually get KU and take a mat leave, someone will be hired for 11-13 months (however long I decide to take) to cover my position and will be fully trained in my role. It’s also a great way for younger employees to gain experience (speaking from personal experience..I covered 3 mat leaves before getting full-time permanent employment!).
I can’t really understand how they could divy your job up. Presumably, the people who would be covering you already have work that takes up all their time…how are they supposed to take on more? I totally agree that it’s better to have one person who can attend fully to all aspects of your job, rather than a couple people who already have full-time positions and simply may not have the time to dedicate to your position to ensure the work gets done fully and properly.