I have taken the manager role for a colleague in maternity leave. She is still involved in the company, requests to be consulted on day-to-day operations, filled-in on employee arguments, and gives orders to the staff without consulting me. Is this normal? I was under the impression someone on leave was not supposed to be part of the current operations. I don't know how to proceed, I've asked her to not be involved but she takes it personal. She says she's still "my boss" and she will have final say in all decisions. Any advice or insight? Has anyone been in this situation before?

  • 4
    Is she your colleague or your boss? Do both of you have a common boss/manager? Commented May 17, 2023 at 17:09
  • 5
    What happened when you talked to the person you think is your manager? Commented May 17, 2023 at 17:24
  • 2
    Is the individual on leave or working for home? If they are on leave, then they should be assign their reasonability, to whomever they choose. If they are your manager, unless their manager has a problem with them taking meetings on leave, I would say out of it. You don't know what sort of arrangement they have with their manager.
    – Donald
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 17:29
  • 8
    I've had acting manager roles ranging from "don't screw anything up and make sure timecards are approved" to "free rein to do what is necessary" - but the exact limits of each role were clear upfront. You need to clarify what your exact role is here.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 18:31
  • 2
    I would love to answer this question, but it comes down to what your company's policy is. My company has very strict rules on what can and cannot be done while on different types of leaves and how work is charged to customers. As such only your company can answer this question, and the answer will be unique to your company.
    – Anketam
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


Any advice or insight?

Do what your manager tells you to do and don't try to tell them to not be involved in their own work.

Being temporarily assigned the manager role while your actual manager is out on leave does not mean that they cease to be the manager. If anyone has a say in whether or not they can/should be working while on leave it would be her manager, not you.

  • +1000 or thereabouts...
    – keshlam
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 21:52
  • 7
    It depends on where you live. In my country, if you are on maternity leave your contract is suspended. You officially don't work there anymore until after your return. Commented May 18, 2023 at 6:38
  • 1
    "Do what your manager tells you to do and don't try to tell them to not be involved in their own work." If they're on Maternity Leave they're not your Manager ...
    – deep64blue
    Commented May 23, 2023 at 19:49
  • @AdrianSicaru, So let's say the OP gets HR involved and HR categorically orders the manager to stop working while she's on leave. Then, the maternity leave ends and the returning manager can retaliate against the OP for telling on her. That's not a very smart move. Better tell the acting manager (or her boss) what's going on and ask for clarification on who to listen to. If the acting manager wants to take on that battle, let them. But if they don't want to, I don't think the OP should rat out her (former/future) manager to HR. It's not politically wise, even if the law is on the OP's side. Commented May 24, 2023 at 10:15
  • 1
    If the manager is still working, what is the maternity leave for?
    – gnasher729
    Commented May 24, 2023 at 17:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .