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How to Negotiate a Raise after Returning From Maternity Leave

negotiate a raise returning from maternity leave

Returning to the ordinary ups and downs of work life after a long, and not-so-relaxing, maternity leave can be a real challenge. Your life can feel like a constant whirlwind, when you’ve got a baby to care for at home as well as all of your commitments at work. For this reason, some employers might believe that a working mom is unable to be completely committed to her job. Unfortunately, employers can use this as an excuse to give low raises to their female employees returning from maternity leave.

Of course, your baby should always come first. But this doesn’t mean you have to settle for less at the workplace!

Don’t shy away from asking your employer for a raise just because you have been on leave. Check out these tips on how working moms can ask for what they deserve at work:

Fight the Discrimination

The assumption that working moms are less competent or committed than other employees is untrue, but it exists in many organizations.

This common misconception often results in discrimination against women who have children. Instead of letting employers harbor this type of bias, proactively show them that you are as committed as everyone else on the team.

You can start by constantly reminding them that you’ll be returning to work soon after your maternity leave is over. Sending messages like, ‘Let’s further discuss this when I’m back’, or ‘I’ll see you at the meeting later this year’ will remind your employer and colleagues that you’re still an integral part of the team.

Take on More Responsibilities

Many working moms tend to shirk away from adding more responsibility out of fear that they will not be able to do justice to the extra work. However, on the plus side, taking on more responsibility will show your employer that you are capable of staying committed to your job, even while handling a baby. You may have to tough it out for a bit, but this will be worth it in the long run!

Think about it. You may find yourself in a higher position with more autonomy and flexible hours, enabling you to plan your day better. You will probably earn a higher salary which could help you with household expenses or to hire a babysitter so that you can devote more time to work.

Don’t Penalize Yourself

Due to using to maternity leave and work-from-home requests, many working mothers tend to believe that they should be paid less than their always-available peers.

However, if you have met your yearly targets, or completed all projects within the deadlines, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be paid equally. So what if you weren’t around the whole time? You completed the job just like everyone else, didn’t you? Thus, it’s only fair that you get paid your full salary.

Don’t ever penalize yourself for having a baby or taking maternity leave. When you get the job done, be proud of it, and your employer will acknowledge your commitment.

These are a few ways to show your employer that you deserve to be treated like every other employee in your organization. It can be quite disheartening to learn that, as a new mother, you need to prove how much you care for a company, whereas most new fathers will receive a raise as soon as their babies are born.

Still, things are changing, and you can use these techniques to ensure that you receive the fair and equal treatment that you deserve at the workplace, and continued trust and support from your employers and colleagues.