1. Ensure you have a parental leave policy that is openly communicated and available, and that complies with regulations.
2. Encourage and pay for pregnant women to have access to a parental leave education program.
3. Set up a parental leave mentoring scheme for pregnant women to have access to existing mentors who are mothers.
4. Fix some of your policies and behaviours NOW around flexible work practices and model a flexible, female-friendly work environment.
5. Stay in touch with the employee when she is on leave and encourage her to come in and visit work and communicate regularly.
6. Make sure the doors are always open for her return.
7. Be prepared to negotiate with her so that her return to work is a win-win for you both.
8. When she comes back, continue to understand that work and motherhood go hand in hand.
9. Do not overlook women for projects or promotions because they are pregnant or mothers.
10. Promote your parental leave strategy and flexible workplace environment as part of your employee brand.