Extension of maternity leave or furlough – what is right for YOU?

2020 has become an unprecedented year and we’re only halfway through it. 

We’re on the cusp of slowly returning to life ‘as normal,’ but there are challenges ahead that we never thought we’d have to face. 

As a parent, one of those challenges may be around returning to work after maternity leave. A milestone that is challenging enough without throwing in COVID-19 as well.

As a parent, I know I would want the CHOICE to do what is right for MY family. Whether that’s to speak to my employer to see if furlough is a possibility or extend my maternity leave.*      

We want choices to be provided by employers so parents can make informed decisions about their return to work and find what is right for them.

There isn’t a one size fits all for anything when it comes to parenting, and that applies to returning to work too. 

COVID-19 has taken away the ability to go about life with our babies as we might want to. Whether you wanted to soak up every moment of alone time together or get out and about attending classes and seeing friends and family. Both scenarios offer socialising, bonding and growth opportunities that you may feel you’ll never get back. 

If you’ve recently fostered or adopted, you may find that you and your child need the extra time to help your child settle in and find their new normal. Staying at home for the first couple of weeks with few visitors may be necessary so you can bond.  But, 12 weeks? Not so much, as your child may need to get to know your extended family and others in the community. 

You may need time to settle your child into childcare. This has all become more difficult with social distancing and how nurseries, childminders and other childcare providers are operating. 

You may not even have any childcare available at the moment as it hasn’t been possible to arrange or your childcare provider has asked you to wait until they can take in more children.

Join the #MaternityPetition

If you fall into any of these categories or any that I haven’t mentioned, you may welcome an extension to paid maternity leave or returning to work on furlough is the preferred option.* Either way, whatever you CHOOSE to do for your family, having the ability to choose is a right we should all be given. 

That’s why our friends at Happity have set up a campaign – #MaternityPetition – in support of a petition to extend paid maternity leave. 

Happity were invited to talk at the House of Commons Petitions Committee about the petition a few weeks ago. It’s something we believe should be available, so there’s another option for families during these crazy times. You may even be one of the 220k plus parents who’ve already signed the petition.

The petition asks for the Government to extend paid maternity leave for at least another three months. Three months to allow us to venture out with our babies, attend online classes (and hopefully face to face), see family and do all those things that we would generally be able to do on maternity leave that we haven’t been able to. Plus, more time to help our babies socialise and see other people and to settle our children into childcare.

Materity leave extension not for you?

Maybe having your maternity leave extended doesn’t work for you, perhaps you need to go back to work as soon as you can for financial reasons or even your mental health, maybe you can be furloughed* and that’s the preferred option. But signing the petition means that you’d have the opportunity to CHOOSE what is right for you and other parents can do the same. 

We’re supporting Happity’s campaign and would love you to join too. You can find more info here.

For more information on maternity leave and COVID-19, see Maternity action for more help. 


*If you choose to return from maternity leave early or want to be furloughed on your return to work, do not assume you will be furloughed. You are advised to speak to your employer first.

DISCLAIMER – the content of this blog is for information only.  Information is gathered from reputable sources; however, Do It Like A Mother is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. This information is not a substitute for professional advice.

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