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 to work after your maternity leave you may need to write a return to work or return from maternity leave letter.  This letter would be sent to either your company's Human Resources director, your supervisor or both and it would state your interest in resuming your job, when you'll be coming back, and anything else you'd like to address.

Show Your Excitement About Returning to Work

This letter is your opportunity to say you're excited to return to work and to let them know about things you may need to make the transition go smoothly.

 Whether you chose to take a six week or two years maternity leave, you will go through an adjustment period when you return to work.  So this is a great chance for you to show your employer that you are indeed looking forward to work again regardless of the emotional roller coaster ride you may experience. 

Let Your Employer Know of Any Special Requests

If you're going back to the same position you left before maternity leave, you need to state your intent to resume your position with the company. If you want to go back early, you'll need to state this as well. And if you want to ask for part-time employment or a desire for a flexible work schedule this needs to be addressed clearly in your return to work letter.

Check If You Need To Send a Doctor's Note

However, before putting pen to paper, 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 in the return to work letter, and attach a note from your doctor. 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.

Use This Sample Return to Work 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 details 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]

 

Edited by Elizabeth McGrory

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]

Updated by Elizabeth McGrory