Would You Gift Some Vacation Days to a Coworker for Maternity Leave?

July 19, 2018

© Vadimgozhda | Dreamstime.com

I feel like so many people I know are currently pregnant. It's like two more people announce they're expecting every week. Maybe there's something in the water? 

If you or someone you work with are expecting, it's likely your employer or coworkers will host a baby shower for you before you take off for maternity leave. Just like a normal baby shower, the people from work will likely bring you presents or gift cards to help you get ready for the new baby. But there's a new trend when it comes to gifts for an expecting coworker. 

Since I have yet to have a baby, I am not familiar with the whole maternity process so I did some digging. Maternity leave terms vary by company. Some of these leaves are unpaid or only partially pay the new mom during her time off. Our country does not have a set policy for the length of leave alotted to a woman. Only 58% of companies pay a salary or wage during some or all of maternity leave, according to the study. 

So what's a new momma to do if she does not have paid maternity leave or family medical leave, which is what most women use when taking time off to have a baby. Or what if financially she cannot afford to take a pay cut for time with baby?

According to Good Morning America, the best gift a coworker can give another coworker that's expecting are vacation days. Angela Hughes, of Kansas City, Missouri, did not qualify for paid maternity leave because she was only at her job for less than a year when her daughter was born two months early. 

Her boss was the first one to step up and donate 80 hours of vacation time to Hughes. After that, other coworkers also donated their time allowing Hughes to have eight weeks off! 

Did you know that Americans waste a lot of vacation time? As in they don't use it and it just disappears at the end of the year!

If you are just going to let your vacation days go why not donate them to a coworker who needs them for maternity leave or even if they are sick or have a family emergency? But before you try and gift your days to another person in your office you need to make sure your company allows you to transfer these days because not all companies have this policy!