When maternity or parental leave goes wrong

By Camille FratiLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

Even today, maternity or parental leave disrupts an employee's career, and in the worst-case scenario can lead to dismissal.

Few events mark a life like the birth of a child. The joy of holding them in your arms when they open their eyes for the first time, their first feed or bottle, their first nappies, their first cuddly toy … So many magical moments that compensate for the fatigue of looking after an infant. Maternity leave is therefore designed to allow a mother to look after her child full-time before returning to her professional career if she wishes to – unless she decides to extend the pleasure by taking parental leave.

One might think that maternity leave is now a matter of course – it dates back to 1949. However, it is a special kind of leave, which is experienced very differently from one woman to another and from one company to another, and which can disrupt a professional relationship. The 130 or so calls received by the Inspection du travail et des mines in 2021 concerning maternity leave bear witness to this. When and how to notify the employer, how to prepare for the absence and return …

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