How To Write a Maternity Leave Letter (With Template and Example)

Maybe you’re a successful businesswoman, rising to new heights in your career. Or maybe you’re a young professional, just starting to get a feel for your workplace environment. Wherever you are on your professional journey, pregnancy might seem like a roadblock to your career. How do you handle your pregnancy and childbirth in a professional way without losing the progress you’ve made?

If telling your boss you’re pregnant in person isn’t your style, the next best alternative is to write a maternity leave request letter.

It’s also a great idea to attach your maternity leave plan to your request letter, so you look super prepared and dedicated to your company.

Together we will walk through how to write a stellar maternity leave request letter that shows your devotion to your company and passion for your career.

Maternity Leave Application to Employer – Maternity Leave Request Letter

How to write a parental leave letter

Here are the basic guidelines for writing a professional parental leave letter, which applies to requests for primary and secondary caregivers:

1. Use proper formatting

Your letter should be typed using an easy-to-read font, such as Arial, Times New Roman or Helvetica. You should have a one-inch margin on all sides.

2. Include the date and address

Start your letter by placing your address in the top left-hand corner. Then, like all formal letters, skip a line and then add the date.

3. Include the recipients address

Skip a line below the date and then add the business address for your supervisor.

4. Use the proper greeting or salutation

Your greeting should be professional and address your supervisor properly, even if you have a casual working relationship. For example, you could write, “Dear Mr./Ms. [last name].”

5. Explain why youre writing

Be direct in your letter’s opening paragraph and explain why you’re writing the letter and how long you intend to be away on parental leave. You should also include the specific dates youll be leaving and returning to work. You may also suggest working from home before or after these dates to see if that’s something your employer would be open to considering.

6. Provide a workload proposal

In the next paragraph, propose a plan for how you suggest covering your workload while you’re out of the office. Be honest in discussing work you believe you wont be able to complete, as well as work that will need to be completed while youre away on leave.

If you’re responsible for short-term or long-term projects, define where you are or will be with those projects when you leave. Offer suggestions for who you believe is most capable of moving forward with specific projects in your absence.

7. Set expectations for communication

In the final paragraph, tell your manager the level of communication you intend to have while youre on parental leave. If you plan to stay away from your work email entirely while youre gone, let them know that. If you plan to work some while on leave, set clear expectations for how frequently or how little you plan to check in.

8. Include a plan for your transition back

If you believe that your work schedule will need to change when you return to work, you could include this in the final paragraph as well. If you arent yet sure, you may want to wait and decide this at a later date.

9. Express gratitude

Express sincere gratitude for your employers support in taking time away from work to care for your new child. Its important to properly thank them for their understanding.

10. Include your name and signature

If youre handing a hard copy of your letter to your supervisor, its best to include your handwritten signature on the letter with your name typed underneath. If youre sending an email, you can simply type your name.

Why send a parental leave letter?

Its important to document in writing the details of your parental leave so your manager can make arrangements for managing your workload in your absence. While maternity leave, also known as primary caregiver leave, traditionally applies to the birthing parent, paternity leave is requested by non-birthing parents, who are also known as secondary caregivers. This designation is also generally given to adoptive parents.

When planning for parental leave, its generally a good idea to share this information as soon as you determine how long your leave of absence will be and when youll be taking your leave. Share this letter with your direct supervisor as well as any other relevant people, such as an HR manager.

Template of a parental leave letter

Heres a template for a maternity leave letter you can use to help write your own parental leave letter:

Example of a parental leave letter

Heres an example of a maternity leave letter using the template above. You can reference this example to craft a parental leave letter of your own:


How do I write a letter to an employer about maternity leave?

Dear Mr./Mrs. [Recipient’s Name], This letter is to inform you that I am pregnant and plan to take maternity leave. My due date is [date] and I plan to continue working until [date or suggest working from home until your due date or delivery].

How do I tell my boss I’m starting maternity leave?

Have a plan in place, but be open to discussion and compromise. Come up with a realistic bottom line and stick to it. Set it in writing. Once you’ve worked out the details of your pregnancy protocol and maternity leave, confirm it in writing so there won’t be any confusion later.

How do you write an email to HR about maternity leave?

This letter is to inform you that I am pregnant and wish to take maternity leave. My due date is January 15, 2019. I would like to continue working until (date or you could state you’ll work up until your due date on a work-from-home basis, if possible). I plan to take (number) weeks of maternity leave.

Do I need to write a letter for maternity leave?

Why send a parental leave letter? It’s important to document in writing the details of your parental leave so your manager can make arrangements for managing your workload in your absence.

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