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Returning to Work

Returning to Work

Before you have your baby you may be able to plan your return to work with some emotional detachment. However, after you have held your baby you may wish to reassess your carefully laid plans. Remember you can only change your date for return to work once.

Here are a few points to help you plan the transition from home back into the work force.

  • Consider your current role at work and assess if it is possible to return to your job in its current form. For example, if your job involves long hours or frequent trips away from home, you may consider this unacceptable when you are a mum. If the answer is no perhaps you could talk to your employer in advance or use your time while on parental leave to look for a more suitable position.
  • Working from home is becoming a more acceptable work practice today. There are many benefits to home based work for both you and your employer. These include increased productivity, flexible working hours, reduced absenteeism, and the ability to retain a well-trained work force. You will save on time away from the home by cutting out travel time.
  • If you plan to breastfeed your baby you do not have to stop this before you return to work if this is your choice. Under New Zealand law, employers are required, as far as is reasonable and practicable, to provide appropriate breaks and facilities for employees who wish to breastfeed their infants or express milk during work hours (Employment Relations Act 2000).
  • It is worth considering your childcare options before you finish work. Take some time to investigate your choices for childcare. They include a Child Care Centre, Family Day Care and a Nanny in your home. Childcare places are limited and long waiting lists are common. Consider placing your name at a few centres. When thinking about the location of childcare, consider if it would be better to have the childcare near your work or home, who will be most likely to drop off and pick up your child.

For more information see Parenting.