A child’s birth is a joyous occasion and it is understandable that you will want to take time off work to spend with your loved ones. It is also thought to be healthy for a mother to bond with her newborn.
A parental leave letter is a formal way for a new birthing parent to inform their employer that they will be taking time off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. Sending such a letter ensures that everyone understands when you will be absent from work and how your workload will be managed during your absence.
In this article, we will discuss why you should submit a parental leave letter and explain how to write one professionally, as well as provide a template and example letter to help you in crafting your own.
What is a Maternity/Paternity Leave of Absence Letter?
A letter requesting maternity/paternity leave is a formal document. It outlines your intention to leave work at the end of your pregnancy to care for your child. In addition to requesting permission, it should include your away dates, plans for upcoming work, and contact information.
Why Should You Send a Parental Leave?
It is essential to document the details of your parental leave in writing so that your manager can make plans for managing your workload while you are away. While maternity leave, also known as primary caregiver leave, is traditionally taken by the birthing parent, non-birthing parents, also known as secondary caregivers, may request paternity leave. This is also a common designation for adoptive parents.
When planning parental leave, it’s usually a good idea to share this information as soon as you know how long your leave will be and when you’ll be taking it. Send this letter to your immediate supervisor as well as any other relevant individuals, such as an HR manager.
How To Write This Letter
Here are the essential guidelines for writing a professional parental leave letter:
- Make use of proper formatting
Your letter should be written in a legible font, such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Helvetica. All sides should have a one-inch margin.
- Include the date and address
Start your letter by inserting your address in the upper left-hand corner. Then, as with all formal letters, add the date after skipping a line.
- Include the recipient’s address
Add your supervisor’s work address after skipping a line below the date.
- Use the proper salutation or greeting
Even if you have a casual working relationship, your greeting should be professional and address your supervisor correctly. “Dear Mr./Ms. [last name],” for example.
- Explain why you’re writing
In the first paragraph of your letter, be direct and explain why you’re writing it and how long you intend to be away on parental leave. You should also include the specific dates you’ll be leaving and returning to work. You could also suggest working from home before or after these dates to see if your employer is willing to consider it.
- Make a workload proposal
Propose a plan for covering your workload while you’re out of the office in the following paragraph. Discuss work that you believe you will be unable to complete, as well as work that must be completed while you are on leave.
- Set a communication expectations
Inform your manager about the level of communication you intend to maintain while on parental leave. Tell them that you will not be checking your work email while you are away. Set clear expectations for how frequently or infrequently you plan to check in if you plan to work while on leave.
- Include a plan for your return to work
You could also include this in the final paragraph if you believe your work schedule will need to change when you return to work. If you aren’t sure yet, you may want to postpone your decision until afterwards.
- Express gratitude
Thank your employer for allowing you to take time off from work to care for your new child. It is essential to properly thank them for their kindness.
- Include your name and signature
If you’re handing a hard copy of your letter to your employer, include your handwritten signature along with your name typed underneath.
Most people recognize that pregnancy and motherhood are significant life events. However, it would be unprofessional to simply miss work without informing your employer. The following pointers should assist you in properly communicating your leave request:
- Use the appropriate salutation
- Remind the reader of your pregnancy and expected due date
- Include specific dates for when you will leave and return to work
- Make your letter brief and to the point
- Maintain a professional and courteous tone
Sample and Template
To help you in writing your own letter, we provide a sample and template of Maternity/Paternity Leave of Absence Letter.
Letter #1: Example of Maternity/Paternity Leave of Absence Letter
123 St. Anystreet
San Diego, CA 23456
November 09, 2022
211 St. Pierre
San Diego, CA 03421
Dear Ms. Smith,
I’m writing to request permission to take maternity leave. As you are aware, I am excited. My due date has been set for November 23, 2021, after which I intend to be absent from work for four weeks. This time will allow me to rest and care for my new child.
During my leave, I intend to complete all outstanding projects on my portfolio. I’ve made plans with my assistant to cover any new assignments in my absence.
If you need me for an emergency, you can contact me at email@example.com or 892 348 1200.
Thank you for your consideration and time.
Letter #2: Maternity/Paternity Leave of Absence Letter Template
[City, Zip Code]
[City, Zip Code]
Dear [Recipient’s name],
I’m writing to let you know that my due date has been set for date. I am also writing to request time off for maternity leave from the leave date to the resume date. This time will allow me to physically recover while also caring for my new child.
I intend to briefly describe my work plan while I am away. I’ve also arranged for [colleague/supervisor’s name] to handle my pending projects.
If you require my assistance during my absence, please contact me at [phone number].
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Leave of Absence Letter For Different Scenarios
- It is essential to document the details of your parental leave in writing so that your manager can plan for your workload management while you are away.
- Inform your manager of your communication plans while on parental leave.
- Thank your employer for allowing you to take time off to care for your new baby. It is important to properly thank them for their generosity.
- When planning parental leave, it’s best to share this information as soon as you know how long your leave will be and when you’ll take it.