Today it was announced that This Morning had organised their maternity leave cover for Holly Willoughby. Two presenters from GMTV will be covering when the star goes on leave to have and spend time with her daughter in May this year. Three months in advance.
This got me thinking about my own maternity leave cover when I had my daughter and how easy I had it that it was left for me to arrange, well no one else wanted to do it. No one else had the time. I wanted to ensure a good cover so I had a smooth return.
It got pretty near to my leave date when I realised that no one was going to organise cover for my role and I did it myself. Office restructure talk and my former boss leaving had taken it’s toll on all around me leaving me in a state of uncertainty surrounding my cover.
In the end I approached an agency we had used before myself and nagged a manager in the team to interview with me. I was very conscious that my role should be well covered as I dealt with high level meetings, reports and complaints.
I coerced this manager to interview a candidate he had passed on but my gut instinct had told me she was the right person for my job and it felt good to have put someone in my place that could learn as well as manage. She was similar to me when I had first started office based work, a graduate with no on the job experience but plenty of enthusiasm.
No one knows but the person doing the job who is best to cover them? Maybe. But they should be able to leave a job safe in the knowledge that it is well looked after.
The person doing the job really should have chilled out more and enjoyed the end of pregnancy? Possibly.
Employers should be more aware of what they need Maternity Leave Cover (it’s not just keeping a seat warm for a year) and the implications cover can have on a mummy returning to work.