How Startups are Covering Maternity Leave With Ease

Covering maternity leave presents undeniable challenges for startups and small businesses, particularly when it comes to maintaining business operations seamlessly.

Depending on your location, staff members can expect to be out of the office for up to eight weeks. Having suitable cover is paramount, as falling behind on critical projects can cause monumental issues down the road ahead.

Coupled with the overall cost during this period, finding a replacement that doesn’t break the bank and has the necessary skills to complete tasks at a high level is essential.

In this blog, let’s look into why startups and small businesses should turn to short-term freelancers to plug the gap in productivity and continue providing value to end clients.

An excellent case exists for choosing freelancers over temporary or contracted hires during a staff member’s parental leave. When your business has limited resources and a scarcity of time, consider taking a different route.

Why hire freelancers during an employee’s maternity leave?

example of a freelancer in a meeting

It’s not all about the money!

While freelancers are cheaper than contracted workers, they also give entrepreneurs greater agility in managing their resources during this tricky time.

Greater flexibility

Freelancers offer businesses the ability to scale their workforce as needed during maternity absences. Whether you need temporary coverage or a longer-term solution, freelancers can adapt to your specific requirements and ensure your business continues operating smoothly.


Hiring full-time or temporary workers for short-term coverage during maternity absences can be costly.

By hiring freelancers, businesses can avoid the additional costs associated with maternity or medical leave, such as health insurance and paid time off. This cost-saving benefit allows businesses to allocate their resources toward other areas of growth and innovation.

Specialized expertise

Freelancers often bring specific skills and expertise to the table. When filling maternity absences, it’s crucial to ensure that the work is handled by professionals who can maintain productivity and quality.

Talented freelancers can seamlessly integrate into your team and contribute to the success of your business during their time away.

Reduced administrative burden

Administrative tasks can be time-consuming and burdensome, especially when dealing with temporary workforce management. Hiring freelancers eliminates the need to handle payroll and other administrative responsibilities.

Freelancers are responsible for managing their own taxes, contracts, and work arrangements, freeing up valuable time for startups and small businesses to focus on core operations.

The cost of paid maternity leave for startups and small businesses

woman doing training with a co-worker online

Maternity leave can have a significant financial impact on employers, particularly for startups and small businesses with limited resources. Many employers think there are few options other than hiring full-time cover.

This just isn’t the case.

Benefits and salaries

The expenses can quickly add up from continued salary payments (if you offer them) to health benefits and potential costs of temporary replacements. However, businesses can minimize these costs and maintain financial stability during parental leave by opting for freelance hires.

Freelancers offer flexible payment options

Freelancers can be paid on a per-project basis, hourly rate, or any other mutually agreed-upon terms. This flexibility gives businesses more money and better control over their expenses during maternity leave.

When all is said and done, the average weekly wage of a freelancer is considerably cheaper than full-time cover. With their competitive rates, freelancers offer cost-effective solutions that meet the specific needs of startups and small businesses.

Replacement workers

While temporary replacements, such as temp workers or contractors, can provide maternity coverage during absences, you must still comply with local tax laws and benefit allowances.

Moreover, temporary workers will still need time to get up to speed with your company. They are often less skilled than you might like, and this drop in productivity could have a flow-on effect regarding completing crucial client work. 

Freelancers are highly skilled in their field

Freelancers often come with experience and specialized skills from which your other team members benefit. They can often take on new responsibilities at the drop of a hat.

By hiring freelancers for maternity absences, businesses can bypass the lengthy recruitment process and reduce training expenses, ensuring an easy transition and continuity of work.

How to successfully cover maternity with freelance hires

freelancer doing a job on a laptop

Freelancers take the hard work out of covering an employee’s maternity leave. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t much planning required at the boss’ end.

A detailed handover ensures a seamless transition from your outgoing staff to your incoming freelancer.

Assess the workload

How long is the maternity absence? How much work do you hope you have at that time? Understanding the scope of work will help find the right freelancer to fill the gap effectively. Determine whether the absence requires a short-term or long-term freelance hire.

Create a detailed scope of work

Similar to a job description, this document is necessary when hiring freelancers. Clearly outline the required skills, experience, and duration of the contract to attract suitable candidates who can seamlessly integrate into your team.

Explore freelance platforms

Unfortunately, not all freelance platforms take responsibility for how freelancers perform. This has caused issues in the past for both employers and employees.

It is best to choose an outsourcing marketplace like Quickly Hire, which specializes in finding startups and small businesses talented freelancers. These platforms streamline the hiring process and provide access to a diverse pool of skilled professionals.

Evaluate portfolios

When considering freelancers, take the time to review their portfolios and feedback from previous clients. This evaluation will help gauge their competence, reliability, and alignment with your business needs.

Conduct interviews

Even though they are likely to only be with you for a short while, it would be remiss not to assess their fit with your company culture and the specific job requirements of the role. Conduct an online screening to understand better their skills, communication style, and work ethic.

Negotiate terms

Once you’ve found the right freelancer, ensure you agree on the finer details such as work hours, pay, deadlines, and who they report to. A mutually beneficial agreement for both parties must be in place to have a fruitful relationship.

You never know! You could work together again.

Onboarding and managing freelancers

employer giving an online training

Indeed, freelancers operate differently from full-time hires. You will need to put faith in their ability to get the job done remotely and be aware that you won’t be able to look over their shoulder all the time.

That is why you need sound systems in place to ensure a smooth transition, continued productivity, and even smoother reintegration.

Robust onboarding process

To ensure an easy onboarding process, share relevant information, tools, and resources with the freelancer. Provide necessary documents, project details, and communication channels to facilitate collaboration.

Effective communication and collaboration tools

Regular communication and collaboration are essential to maintain productivity and address challenges during maternity leave. Utilize project management tools and regular side meetings and check-ins to keep everyone aligned and on track.

Protect your IP

When working with freelancers, note that protecting sensitive information and intellectual property is crucial. Ensure appropriate confidentiality agreements are in place to safeguard your business’s assets.

Why you need to plan for maternity leave

woman with a new child

As a startup or small business, you will have a pregnant employee at some stage. While more women are balancing their professional careers with having a family, having a process ensuring a smooth transition to a freelancer is still a necessity. It’s great to witness your employees grow their families. However, it also presents undeniable challenges.

That’s where outsourcing companies come into play. Choosing a partner specializing in connecting startups and small businesses with talented freelancers is a huge weight off.

It’s not just maternity leave, by the way!

man on medical leave due to a broken foot

Of course, maternity leave isn’t the only type of unforeseen employee absence that can happen!

People get hurt and require paid medical leave, sick days, and disability insurance—others need paid leave to take care of a sick family member. 

Don’t forget vacation time, too!

When you have a ton of work to complete and staff that cannot contribute for several weeks, things can get stressful quickly. By having a freelancer fill the breach in times of struggle, you can ensure projects are delivered on time, regardless of when your full-time hires return to work.

Quickly Hire: The ideal choice for short-term maternity leave

picture of a career portfolio on a laptop

Our extensive network of freelancers has been meticulously vetted and tested, ensuring their expertise and readiness to hit the ground running from day one.

By partnering with Quickly Hire, you gain access to a pool of freelancers who have previously worked closely with CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs. They understand the unique pressures and demands of running an agile, profit-generating business.

Whether you need short-term or long-term solutions, we offer flexible options at affordable prices tailored to meet your specific requirements.

Our commitment to quality and excellence sets us apart. We take pride in our thorough vetting process, ensuring that only the most skilled and reliable freelancers enter our network. This guarantees that when you choose Quickly Hire, you’re selecting a freelance hire who is capable and aligned with your business goals.

When faced with maternity absences, Quickly Hire provides the solution you need. Our freelancers seamlessly integrate into your team, bringing their specialized expertise and allowing you to maintain productivity and momentum.

With their understanding of the pressures you face as a startup or small business, you can trust that our freelancers will contribute to the growth and success of your company.

At Quickly Hire, we recognize that filling maternity cover is not just about finding a temporary replacement; it’s about finding a dedicated professional to keep your business moving forward. Our freelancers are equipped to handle the challenges and responsibilities of their role, allowing you to focus on other strategic initiatives. 


  • Alex McInnes

    Alex is Quickly Hire's content strategist and digital marketer. He's a New Zealand-born, Thailand-residing copywriter extraordinaire. Dad to two beautiful girls, Alex loves playing rugby, reading, and running with his soi dog, Effie.