9 Maternity Leave Out-of-Office Messages for Your Auto-Reply

Published December 16, 2021
pregnant woman is working on computer laptop

If you're going to be out of the office on maternity leave, it's definitely a good idea to set up an auto-reply for your email account. That way, no one will send a message and wonder why they may not have heard from you weeks (or even months!) later. It's totally up to you if you want to reveal the reason you're out of the office. What's essential is that you let people who email you know that you expect to be away from the office for an extended period, and direct them to someone who can assist them while you're out.

1. General Maternity Leave Message With Date

If your goal is to set up a basic maternity leave out of office message that specifies why you are out and when you expect to return, the message below is a great option to use. It's straightforward and gives recipients a single point of contact.

Thank you for reaching out to me. I am currently out of the office on maternity leave. I expect to return on [insert date], but [insert name] will be happy to assist you in my absence. Please reach out to them at [insert email address] or [insert phone number]. Or, if you'd rather wait until I return, please reply to let me know. In that case, I'll contact you as soon as possible after my leave is over.

Kind regards,

[Your name here]

2. General Maternity Leave Message Without Date

You may want to let people know why you are out of the office, but prefer not to specify an expected return date. If that is the case, the sample message below may meet your needs.

Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office for maternity leave, so I'd like to respectfully request that you reach out to [insert name], who is covering most of my duties in my absence. You can reach them at [insert email address] or [insert phone number]. If they are not able to assist directly, they'll direct you to the correct point of contact. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

[Your name here]

3. Funny Special Delivery Maternity Leave Message

Depending on your personality, the nature of your job, and your company's culture, you may want to inject a bit of humor into your maternity leave out-of-office message. Something like this might get a few chuckles.

Greetings and thank you for your email. I'd love to help you but I'm out of the office handling a special delivery that was nine months in the making! After such a momentous undertaking, it'll take a bit of time before I'm back on duty in the office. Fortunately, [insert name] is on-site and ready to meet your needs. Just reach out via [insert email] or [insert phone number] and they'll take great care of you. I'll be in touch after I find my way back to the office after I've learned to navigate the post-stork world of diapers and formula!

Best regards,

[Your name here]

4. Specific Contact by Relationship Maternity Leave Message

Depending on how your work is being handled while you're on leave, you might need to provide more than just one alternate point of contact. If different team members are handling different types of tasks, consider a message like the one below.

Thank you for your message. I apologize for any inconvenience, but I need to direct you to an alternate contact because I am out of the office on maternity leave. I expect to return on [insert date] but have made arrangements with colleagues to respond to inquires while I am out of the office.

  • If you are a current, former, or prospective customer, please contact [insert name] at [insert email] or [insert phone number].
  • If you work with a vendor or supplier, please contact [insert name] at [insert email] or [insert phone number].
  • If you are any other type of contact, please reach out to [insert name] at [insert email] or [insert phone number].

Thank you so much for your cooperation. I look forward to speaking with you after I return to the office.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name]

Pregnant woman using laptop

5. Specific Contact by Project Maternity Leave Message

Instead of directing emails to specific people based on the nature of their relationship with the company, you may need to direct people to project-specific contacts. If that's the case, consider a message like the one below.

Thank you for reaching out to me. I am currently on maternity leave and expect to return to the office by [insert date]. In the meantime, other individuals have been assigned to the projects I ordinarily work on. Please reach out to the appropriate contact from the list below and the person who is filling in for me will be happy to assist you.

  • If your inquiry is about the [insert project, insert project, or insert project] project, please contact [insert name] at [insert email] or [insert phone number].
  • If your inquiry is about the [insert project, insert project, or insert project] project, please contact [insert name] at [insert email] or [insert phone number].
  • If you are contacting me for any other reason, please contact [insert name] at [insert email] or [insert phone number], who will direct you to the correct person to handle your request.

I really appreciate your flexibility while I am out of the office on maternity leave.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name]

6. Parental Leave Auto-Reply With Date

If you would prefer to use the phrase parental leave rather than maternity leave, you may want to use the message below. Alternately, you can just change the phrase in any of the above messages.

Thank you for your communication. I am unable to reply at this time because I am currently on parental leave. I plan to return to work on [insert date]. In the meantime, [insert name] will be handling business inquiries while I am away. Please reach out to them at [insert email] or [insert phone number] for assistance. Alternately, if you'd prefer to wait until I return, please reach out again after [repeat expected return date].

Kind regards,

[Insert name]

7. Parental Leave Auto-Reply Without Date

For a parental leave message that does not include an expected return date, you may want to opt for a message along the lines of the one below.

Greetings,

Thank you for your email. I am currently away from the office on parental leave, and so have made arrangements with [insert name] to handle my messages. [Insert name] is [insert job title or role with the company] and will be happy to assist you with any inquiry intended for me. Please reach out to them at [insert email] or [insert phone number].

Sincerely,

[Insert name]

8. Extended Leave Out of Office Message

If you would rather avoid automatically announcing your status as a new parent to everyone who emails you at work, consider drafting a message that simply states that you are on an extended leave from work.

Thank you for contacting me. As I am currently on an extended leave from work, please redirect your inquiry to [insert name], a co-worker who is covering my desk while I am away. You can reach them at [insert phone number] or [insert email address]. Thank you in advance for your flexibility.

Respectfully,

[Insert name]

9. Personal Leave Auto-Reply Option

If you don't want to mention that you're a new parent but you'd like to use a phrase that's a little less vague than "extended leave," consider using the phrase "personal leave" instead. The sample message below may convey the tone you'd like to use.

I appreciate your message, but I am currently out of the office on personal leave. I expect to return by [insert date], but you don't need to wait until I get back to speak with someone who can assist with your inquiry. [Insert name], a(n) [insert job title] on my team will be happy to help. You can reach them at [insert phone number] or [insert email address]. Thanks so much for your understanding.

Kind regards,

[Your name here]

Maternity Leave Out of Office Message Options

Feel free to use any of the messages above that resonate with you. You may even want to mix and match some of the options to fine-tune the perfect message for you. Don't wait until the very last minute to decide. After all, your special delivery just might decide to arrive a bit earlier than you were expecting!

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9 Maternity Leave Out-of-Office Messages for Your Auto-Reply