Monday, April 20, 2009

Tables Turned

Today I had the mother/supervisor tables turned on me: at T-10 days (likely) from being a mother myself, one of my "highly qualified personnel" (HQPs; what our funding agency calls students, postdocs, staff hired through research grants) told me that she was having a baby in the fall. Fresh off figuring out maternity leave for myself, now I'm trying to work it out from the perspective of a supervisor...

I am fortunate to live in a country with very good maternity/parental leave laws, and am even luckier to have a permanent job that lets me take advantage of them without forgoing my salary. But HQPs don't have that luxury: so while I feel very strongly that my HQP should have a nice long leave like I will, I am also faced with the reality of my limited research budget. Could it be that she will be back to work before I will despite delivering 6 months later?

Surely I can work this out, or at least arrange it so that my HQP gets the most "bang for her buck" benefit-wise. I just hope that I can get the ball rolling before I need to take advantage of similar benefits myself!

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