How to Write a Return from Maternity Leave Letter

How to set expectations about returning to work after your baby is born

Mom multi-tasking with baby
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When you return from your maternity leave you may want to write a return from maternity leave letter.  It could also be sent as an email with the subject line "'s Return From Maternity Leave Email". This letter could be sent to either your company's Human Resources director, your supervisor or both. You'd write about how you're interested in returning to work, when you're coming back and anything else you'd like to address.

Are you unsure what you should write about? Here are a few suggestions you could include in your return from maternity leave letter.

Show Your Excitement

This is your opportunity to explain why you're excited to return to work! The good thing is that when you write this letter you're not at work yet. You haven't experienced the first day back and all the emotions that will go with it. This works in your favor!

When you write this letter talk about all the positive things you're looking forward to doing when you get back. You can tell them about any ideas you came up with or how you may do things differently. Or just tell them that you miss them all immensely and look forward to catching up (if that's how your office rolls).

Submit Any Special Requests

If you're going back to the same position you left before maternity leave, state your intent to resume your position. If you wrote a maternity leave letter include a copy or mention it in this letter to remind your employer of when your maternity leave began and when it's scheduled to end.

You will tell them the date you're returning or if you've had change of heart and want to come back earlier.

If you'd like to discuss changing your hours to part-time employment or work a flexible work schedule you could mention this in your return to work letter. Your letter would also be great opportunity to state any agreed upon changes to your work schedule as well.

If you can think of anything that will help your transition easier request them in your letter. Regardless of how long your maternity leave is there will be a transition period. Your letter is a great time to give this some thought and open the discussion up to address it.

Check If You Need To Send a Doctor's Note

Before you sit to write your letter check your company's policies about the need for written permission from your physician to return to your job.  If you have any medical restrictions, due to a complicated pregnancy, clearly state these concerns and attach the note from your doctor. 

A Simple Sample Letter

As with all written correspondence, it's wise to make your letter short and to the point. Below is a sample letter for reference. If you are seeking a schedule change, use this return to work letter.

Replace the words in brackets with the details that appropriate for your situation.

Dear [Human Resource Director's Name]:

Please let this letter serve as notification that I will be returning to my position as a [site specific position, e.g. attorney with the firm of XXX] on [specific date]. As you know from my maternity leave letter, I began my leave on [specific date.]

I plan to provide the high level of performance I always have in my role as an [job title] at [company name].

[If applicable include the following] Enclosed are release papers from my physician stating my ability to resume my job position.

Please contact me at the above telephone number or e-mail address with any concerns.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

cc: [Your Supervisor]

[Supervisor's Title]

A Sample Letter If Your Job Changed

If you've made an adjustment to your job position, or work schedule, such as returning part-time or working a flexible work schedule, use the below return to work letter for reference.

Dear [Human Resource Director's Name]:

Please let this letter serve as notification that I will return to work on a part-time basis on [specific date]. As agreed to by [your supervisor's name], I will be working [Cite your schedule, e.g. Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.]. As you know from my maternity leave letter, I began my leave on [specific date. ]

I plan to provide the high level of performance I always have in my role as an [job title] at [company name].

Enclosed are release papers from my physician stating my ability to resume my job position. Please contact me with any concerns at the above telephone number or e-mail address.

Thank You.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

cc: [Your Supervisor]

[Supervisor's Title]