Employers’ Duties to those on Long-Term Leave

Currently on maternity leave from my role at RWA, the current situation with COVID-19 has turned the second half of my leave into a time of worry and uncertainty.

My concern surrounds several things. Primarily that of the health of my new-born, my other children and the rest of my family. The fact that my husband has had to cease work within his own business has also brought with it financial concerns, exacerbated by my own absence from work. I am wondering whether my return to work will be affected by the pandemic or if I even have a job to return to.

Luckily, RWA has been central in reassuring me. The company is keeping in regular contact with me and involving me in company-wide conference calls so that I can understand how the firm continues to function despite the restrictions that are in place. This contact and engagement with my employers has helped ease one of my concerns, in that my role within the firm remains as crucial as ever and the impact of COVID-19 is not affecting the firm’s ability to continue business.

It is crucial that businesses who currently have individuals on any kind of long-term leave, reach out to those people and give them the opportunity to be involved or simply ask any questions that might be bothering them. Employees may not always find it easy to be the one to approach their employer and ask for reassurance. By being the one to open the line of communication, managers could be helping to ease at least some of the worries that employees might be struggling with.

It’s all too easy to forget about those that aren’t currently an active part of the team, especially when you might consider there to be more important things to be focusing on. Nonetheless, they remain in your employment and they will once again become instrumental in the team’s day-to-day activities, helping to bring the business out of the other side of the quagmire we currently find ourselves in.

About the author

As HR Manager at RWA, Amy worked as both internal practitioner and consultant to RWA clients. Whilst undertaking the role of HR Manager to RWA employees, she coordinated the on-boarding of new recruits, manages employee absence and assisted with performance reviews and disciplinary/grievance situations. Amy left RWA in 2021.

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