I have an employee who is due to give birth any day now, however she is only taking 2 weeks off instead of the 12 weeks for maternity leave. Are we legally required to have her take the 12 weeks? She is adamant that she does not need to or want to.

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This makes me sad. Why do women feel the pressure to return to work so quickly? Does she fear she’ll be replaced? Maybe reassurance that her work will be covered while she’s out?
She may say now that she wants only 2 weeks but she can’t predict complications or know she’ll be feeling once the time comes.

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You can't force her, but get her request in writing so she can't turn around and accuse you of denying her leave.

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Is she eligible for FMLA? Be careful under FMLA responsibilities - you will want to document everything.

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Nope as long as she is cleared to come back to work she can.

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Give them what they want, sounds like a rockstar to me but of course during the birthing process, things may change, just be open when and if they do 🫶

Yes, exactly. She can't say for certain that she won't need additional time if, for example, she has a C-Section or, god forbid, the baby ends up in NICU.

Maybe she’s giving the child for adoption?

I assumed your comment came from ignorance, not malice. Thank you for graciously taking the feedback!

As said above, you can’t force her to take leave but do make sure everything is properly documented in writing. She may end up needing more than she anticipates, or she may want to take intermittent leave and use the rest of the 12 weeks later.

In writing for sure. Is the 12 weeks unpaid? or you offer top up for mat leave?
I can’t imagine someone returning from mat leave so soon must be extremely challenging 😥 provide reassurance that regardless if she doesn’t want to take her 12 weeks it will still be available if she needs it. No one can predict what can happen. 12 weeks is not that much hopefully this will change in the near future 🙏🏼

Why would she be so insistent on only taking only two weeks off? Does the maternity leave happen to be unpaid? You're gonna need the proper documentation for her request. Just be sure to give her some wiggle room in case something comes up.

Perhaps she thought maternity leaves are unpaid (or is it)? Maybe you could discuss the entirety of the maternity leave one last time with her? If she still persists then we have to respect her choice.

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