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Resigning after maternity leave

You’ve decided you don’t want to return to your job after your maternity leave, and you need to let your employer know. Here’s some advice on how to prepare for your resignation.

Working mom with baby

Has spending time with your new little bundle of joy changed your mind about going back to work after mat leave? Or does it just make more financial sense to stay home to raise your child? Whatever the reason, you have to plan for telling your employer you are not coming back to work once your maternity leave is over. Here’s some advice on how to proceed.

Know your rights

Even though the last thing you probably want to do is read through pages of documents online, it’s important to be fully versed on what you’re entitled to both provincially and nationally when it comes to your maternity leave so that you’re well prepared for your discussion with your employer.

Read your employer’s office manual

If your office has an employee manual, dig it out and check if it outlines the company’s policy regarding maternity leave and giving notice.

Check your vacation days

If you have a notebook or calendar in which you’ve noted how many vacation days you’ve taken and how many you’re still entitled to (the same goes for sick days, lieu days, etc.), have this information ready for your discussion with your employer as you hash out the final paperwork of your resignation. Make sure what they have on file matches up with what you have on file. If you’ve taken vacation days in advance of earning them, you will likely have to pay them back.

Schedule a meeting with your boss

Once you’ve made your decision to not return, schedule a meeting with your boss and/or human resources (your company’s manual may outline who you should meet with). At a minimum, give the notice required (typically two weeks), but if you wish, consider other factors, such as your relationship with your employer or the company’s current staffing situation, and if you want to give more notice so they can fill your position. Have a letter of resignation ready to provide to your supervisor and human resources for this meeting.

As the paperwork comes together, be sure to read everything thoroughly. In some cases, if you feel your company is not fulfilling what you are entitled to, you may need to hire a lawyer to help handle your situation.

Prepare to return company property

Have a box ready with the items belonging to the company that you need to return, including a laptop, cell phone, office keys, pass card and anything else that is company property.

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