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Maternity Leave for freelancers

Hi everyone,


We have a freelancer who fell pregnant during her long term project.


How is everybody else dealing with those situations? 


Any help is appreciated.




**** Update: there is no issue with the freelancer being pregnant or being female or having children, like some people here assume. A freelancer is not protected in the upwork contract for maternity, illness or other things, so I just want to know how other companies deal with it.

Community Member

Simple.  Hire another.  Ask her if she has any friend who could do the job.


You can also send her extra money to hire help who would help her take care of the baby while she is working for you.



**Edited for Community Guidelines**

I am not sure if you undertood my question. Have I said anywhere that there is a problem with her being pregnant or that she is a slave who serves us? I asked for genuine advise what other companies offer freelancers as benefits as there is nothing in the contract from Upwork covering anything like this and Upwork is not offering any advise. So I do not appreciate your sarcastic response. 

Fran: You seem like a nice, thoughtful person.


If someone else answered this question in a way that surprised you, that is because the question you asked seemed so out of place, so unexpected, either due to the wording of the question or its general basis. There are certain questions we see repeated frequently, some every day. Your question is not such a question.


But you asked a serious question. Here is a serious answer:


This is freelancing. There is no "maternity leave" in freelancing. "Maternity leave" is not an Upwork concept.


If a freelancer is unavailable to work on your project, then you hire someone else.


My advice to you would be to allow freelancers you value to take a leave of absence if they want to, and let them know you hope they will resume working on your project when they're ready.


There really isn't a readily available body of writing available that we can draw upon from Upwork help documents or existing Community Forum threads. This is not a topic that gets discussed.


One of the reasons we don't see this discussed is that freelancing is by its very nature a temporary arrangement between a client and a freelancer. So an Upwork freelancer who is pregnant may simply not schedule any freelancing work during a time she does not want to work. Also, a freelancer working on a long term contract may simply continue working throughout her pregnancy, and may resume working immediately after giving birth. If a freelancer is working from home by doing something on a computer, their work may indeed by something they can continue to do without noticeable interruption.

Hi Preston,


Thank you so much for your response and you genuine advise. I had a look in the forum before I posted it, had a look online for any suggestions, etc. But like you said, nobody speaks about this topic and I believe it is important as I think you cannot just end a project if somebody gets pregnant. I will give it more thought.

Any freelancer can become unavailable at any time.


Peter managed a project that had many customers, with millions of dollars in revenue involved. His project heavily relied on the work that Betty does every day. Betty told Peter that she was having a baby and was going to take six months off. Peter shifted Betty's responsibilities to Nanv and Sandra.


How was this possible?
Peter had already cross-trained other freelancers on his team to be able to do the work that Betty was doing.


After a month, Sandra quit unexpectedly. Sandra never even gave Peter advance notice. She just disappeared. (Peter later learned that Sandra joined an indie rock band.) Peter's business did not miss a beat, because he was able to have Taylor and Zenna take on some of the workload.


Every important long term project should be prepared for any team member to become unavailable at any time.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness, Fran!

I hope you come up with a solution that works for you and the freelancer whose contribution you clearly value.


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