Post-Parental Leave Support

Because retaining female talent is good business

Support for Returning Mothers

At a time when new mothers may find themselves overwhelmed as they deal with their new at-home responsibilities while trying to hold down a full-time job, a growing number of companies are making efforts to assist women with the struggles of balancing life as a working parent.

Coaching has been named by the AHRC as a leading practice in supporting working parents

Forward-thinking organisations, such as Telstra, Qantas and Deloitte, provide one-on-one customised coaching for their employees returning to work following parental leave. Rates of parental leave return and post leave retention are now higher than 90% for these companies.

Retaining more women by helping them through this stressful time has saved organisations up to 1.5 times an employee’s salary, as a result of reduced business costs related to recruitment, retraining and restructures.

Concerns of a Returning Mother

Motherhood is one of the biggest challenges to identity a person can face. Dr. Alexandra Sacks, widely recognised clinical expert on the developmental transition into motherhood, says that ‘giving birth to a new identity can be as demanding as giving birth to a baby’.

Our brains love to identify with the past, and past life experiences teach us to attach our identity to a picture of how life is supposed to look, in order it to be valuable. Feeling lost is just the mind’s way of saying it has lost its ability to play out roles we have come to believe define our worth.

One of these roles is the ‘working woman’, and transitioning to the new role of ‘working parent’.

Understanding who we are, what we are passionate about and what we want in life is critical to our sense of self-worth, and our ability to be a productive, happy member of the workforce.

When your female employee becomes a mother, and begins to navigate her return to the workforce, it can be an extremely complex and stressful time, even for the most dedicated of employees. Helping her through this process, both logistically and emotionally, will ensure a smooth transition and a more engaged employee.


Although 2 in 5 Australian employees are parents, many businesses still struggle to:

  • retain female talent post parental leave, and
  • increase productivity of working mothers in the first 6 months back at work

Most businesses rely on solutions such as flex-work arrangements and generalist EAP services to address these retention and presenteeism challenges. This leads to loss of talent and large, unnecessary business costs associated with recruitment, retraining and restructuring.

Our Spark! post-parental leave program supports your employee through this process to ensure a smooth transition and a more engaged working mother. Providing her with practical skills is critical to your employee’s sense of self-worth and her ability to be productive and happy at work.

By concentrating on overall health and wellbeing, we offer support for all aspects of the post-parental leave transition, with the aim of making it as stress-free as possible for your employees.

The Spark! program is ideal for businesses looking to:

Improve Retention Rates

improve both short and long-term retention rates of working parents following their return to work

Increase Productivity

increase productivity and presenteeism of working parents within the first 6 months of their return

Identify Problems Earlier

help returning parents identify earlier whether role change or exiting employment is the best decision for their circumstances

Become Parent-Positive

stand out as an employer of choice in your industry and create a parent-positive workforce

Benefits of Spark!

Supporting working mothers in your organisation is crucial to retaining female talent.

While compliance with legal obligations assists you to create a workplace that supports working parents, the best employers take this a step further by implementing post-parental leave transition coaching programs that advance this goal.

Spark! combines educational and formal coaching approaches to support your business in achieving:

Passionate and driven workforce

Higher productivity, more quickly

Increased employee confidence and self-esteem

Greater job satisfaction and comfort

Love for your business, customers and the job

Less stressed and more resilient employees

Better engagement and communication

Talent retention and attraction

Our Strategy

Using key assessment tools, we assist your employee to identify who they are now and what elements of their identity have / haven’t changed since motherhood, in order to solidify their values, beliefs, passions, skills and talents.

Through a renewed concept of identity and heightened self-awareness, we assist your employee to reignite the passion they once had for their career by reconnecting with past feelings and achievements, and using these to identify new professional aspirations.

We encourage your employee to explore feelings of guilt, resentment and/or regret with the purpose of identifying true obstacles to perceptions of work and home imbalance, and what actions can be taken to overcome and resolve these obstacles.

Using powerful, intuitive questioning techniques, we raise awareness of your employee’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours concerning expectations of self, as a mother, a colleague and an employee, in order to examine their foundation and truth.

The Statistics

of women who go on maternity leave do not return to the workforce


This results in costs associated with recruitment, training and restructure when replacing the employee [ABS]

productivity is lost in the first 12 weeks after the return from maternity leave


With an additional 25% loss during their second 12 weeks back at work (on average) [CGS]

of women who return to work post parental leave exit within 24 months


Potentially prolonging presenteeism issues, whilst neither employee nor employer are completely happy [ABS]

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