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“I got a job, and six months later I announced my pregnancy”: what should an employer do?

Anna Fedorova considers the issue of maternity leave and frequent hospital employees, explains how employers should treat it

“A young girl is going to have a child, but before that she is looking for a suitable job, with a white salary and compliance with the Labor code. Of course, she will not tell you about her plans at the interview” – this is a typical fear of many business leaders. “How can I protect myself from such situations?”this is the question that the Manager most often looks for an answer to.

What usually scares managers more in this situation: that the girl will have to transfer all the required payments and the business will lose money; that she will now constantly sit on sick leave; and that she will have to look for a new person in her place, which means that he will need to be re-introduced, trained, adapted in the team.

Let’s look at the situation from all sides.

It is no secret that in the modern world, any girl in the age range from 18 to 45 years can go on maternity leave, even without planning it in advance. You can hire a 23-year-old girl and she may not even get married until she is 35. But even if you hire a 40-year-old girl who already has three children, it is also not a guarantee that she will not tell you in six months that she plans to have a child again.

Our state very carefully protects the rights of pregnant women, so from the moment she provides you with a certificate of her pregnancy, she is fully and comprehensively protected under all articles of labor law. Her dismissal on any initiative of the employer is strictly prohibited; violation of labor standards entails very adverse consequences for the employer, including large financial ones.

In light of this situation, it would be more appropriate for the Manager to consider the question not from the position of “How can I protect myself from such situations”, but from the position of “How and what can I not lose, and perhaps even gain in this situation”.

So, the girl brought you a certificate that she is pregnant. What to do?
The first thing you need to do — when the term of care in the decree comes, correctly and in compliance with the deadlines, draw up all the documents for granting her maternity leave and subsequent parental leave, and fully transfer all the payments due to her. This will give you the opportunity to apply to the social insurance Fund for reimbursement of all payments, since absolutely all payments related to a woman’s maternity leave, both sick leave before and after childbirth, and parental leave, are paid by the social insurance Fund. If the company is small, the refund from the FSS will not be quick, but the money will be returned to you in full and you will not actually lose anything financially. One of the companies I worked with was very small, only 4 people in the staff — the company received a refund from the FSS in full after 9 months.

Second — the fact that there are women in your company who are on maternity leave speaks of you as a socially-oriented employer and only adds weight in the eyes of potential job candidates. You can use this information as a tool for developing the employer’s brand and broadcast it on your website and in other sources. To enhance the effect, you can develop a support program for “young mothers”, for example, when a child is born, give a certificate to a children’s store or some necessary modern device that helps the mother in the household. Believe me, the effect of such small investments will significantly exceed the benefit that you will receive as a reverse effect in the form of the trust of potential candidates and the youngest mother, who will broadcast everywhere how caring her employer is.

For example, one of the most popular candidates on the market, McKinsey, on its official website, broadcasts the ability to vary their workload when leaving maternity leave as one of the unique advantages of the company as an employer. Another example — an employee of one of the Russian trading companies with admiration and gratitude at the city forum told how after the birth of a child, the head of the company came to her home with a corporate gift for the baby.

Third: the popular belief that “she will now be permanently on sick leave” is more of a stereotype of many managers. Yes, of course, if a girl really has serious health problems and this threatens her pregnancy, then she can often be on sick leave, but such situations make up less than % of the total number of situations. In my practice, I have encountered a considerable number of pregnant girls who run up the stairs of the organization to the last and even having a hospital certificate of pregnancy and childbirth are not in a hurry to give it to the personnel Department. In a company where I worked for a long time for hire, an accountant at the 40th week of pregnancy went to the maternity hospital from a working meeting, and one of my subordinates went to work, even after passing the maternity leave to the personnel Department, until she was “threatened” that we would disable her entry card.

And fourth: “we will have to look for a new person in her place, which means that they will need to be re-introduced, trained, and adapted in the team.” Maybe Yes, and maybe no. Modern technical capabilities allow you to work, even being on the other side of the world and the fact that the girl is on maternity leave and takes care of the baby, does not cancel the fact that she can work from home, if the specifics of the company and the type of activity of the mother allow it.

Before the girl goes on maternity leave, it is worth discussing with her the possibility of working remotely a few months after the birth of the child. In this case, you can document the girl’s part-time work and enter into an additional agreement to the employment contract for remote or remote work. The girl will not lose the child care allowance and will receive a salary in proportion to the time worked, for example, two hours a day. Believe me, for these two or three hours, a girl who is motivated by the opportunity to earn money at home, being with a child all the time and receiving an additional income for this benefit, will effectively work out almost as for a full day in the office.

“The field in which I have been working for more than 10 years is printing and advertising. The time came, and I went on maternity leave, but while on “vacation” — returned to work. It turned out thanks to my management, which met me halfway and allowed me to work remotely. I fully perform my work and, if necessary, my presence at the workplace, I come for a certain time, which allows me to combine the care of a child and not get lost in the world of printing. It is convenient and productive to work remotely if a person can organize himself / herself,” says Elena, a young mother.

As you can see, even from such an unexpected and at first glance unpleasant situation for business as an employee going on maternity leave, you can get benefits for business. Even if this benefit is not immediately calculated in money, then in the future, a positive image of the organization will definitely bring its dividends.

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