Whatever the type of family leave, it can take a little getting used to returning to work once the leave ends. Fortunately, just a few simple steps can help to make your return to work as smooth as possible. HR have created specific checklists that set out many of these steps so that both you and your manager can make sure that the most important things have been covered both before and after you return to work.
For any type of family leave, the basic arrangements (including the expected duration of the leave) will normally have been agreed before you started your leave. It will be assumed that you will be returning to work on the date which you've previously agreed with your manager, unless a different return date is agreed (the notice required of the date change will depend on the type of leave).
Flexible working is also often a big part of a successful return to work. When managed well, returning on an agreed flexible working pattern can enable you to readjust to the work environment whilst also giving you space and time for your new caring responsibilities. You can find out more in the Flexible Working Toolkit.
Whether or not you are returning on a flexible working pattern, your manager should meet with you (ideally on your first day back) to update you on any significant changes that have happened in your absence - this could include relevant projects or other pieces of work, as well as any personnel changes.
If you've been away for a significant period of time (e.g. on maternity leave), it's good practice for your manager to arrange a brief induction so that you are eased back into work. This could involve some pre-arranged catch-ups with other colleagues, as well as joining a School induction (such as 'Flying Start') so that you can find out about any School-level developments and changes.
It isn't always easy to return to work following a long time away. If you are finding it difficult to adjust, please do raise any concerns with your line manager and/or HR Partner.
If you would like to speak with someone in confidence, you can contact the School’s Staff Counselling service on 0207 955 6953 or at email@example.com. You can also contact the independent telephone counselling service through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which is available for all staff. The EAP provides 24/7 support on all aspects of wellbeing, including personal finance and legal matters, counselling, health advice and more. You can contact the EAP in confidence by calling 0800 107 6147 (quoting LSE as the name of your employer) or accessing the online portal at www.colleaguesupport.co.uk (entering code 206011 as your username and password). You can also reach out to the Mental Health First Aiders' Network - the School's network of trained volunteers can act as a point of contact and reassurance, and can also help guide you to other resources that you may find beneficial.