How to write a maternity leave out-of-office message

Are you about to go on maternity leave and you still have a thousand things to do? We’ve put together some essential tips to make sure your maternity leave out-of-office email is successful. With our templates for out-of-office messages, you’ll be all set for your maternity leave. We’ve also provided important tips for wording your message and setting up your auto-reply email.

When and how to set up your maternity leave out-of-office message

If you’re about to go away on maternity leave, you’ll probably be very busy: You have to finish or hand over projects, train the person filling in for you, and accept gifts and congratulations from well-wishers. Your out-of-office message is probably the last thing on your mind. However, try not to wait until the last minute or until your maternity leave starts to create this important auto-reply email. Ideally, you should compose and set up your message a few days or weeks prior to your maternity leave. That way, you won’t have to do anything but activate it when you leave.


Setting up an out-of-office message is different depending on the email application you’re using. If you’re using the Microsoft email service, use our guide to set up out-of-office messages in Outlook.

What should your maternity leave out-of-office message include?

The message should be clear about when you’ll be returning from maternity leave, that you will not be reading your emails while away, and who will be filling in for you. Since you won’t be activating your out-of-office message until your maternity leave starts, you don’t have to communicate when your leave will begin.

An out-of-office message should include the following:

  1. Date that you expect to return from maternity leave
  2. Your temporary replacement: First and last name, email address, and telephone number

What not to include in your out-of-office message for maternity leave

Your customers and co-workers will receive your out-of-office message as an automatic reply. Therefore, it needs to sound professional and match your company’s tone. Your message should work for all recipients. Don’t make your out-of-office reply too casual or informal.

Many people choose not to include information about how they can be reached during maternity leave. However, you can include a personal email address, your social media account, or your profile on a business social networking site, if you have your employer’s permission. It is usually not appropriate to provide personal details such as the name of your child or information about your family situation.

Templates for maternity leave out-of-office messages

Are you unsure how to word your out-of-office message for maternity leave? Here are some examples you can use for inspiration.

Examples for your greeting

  • Hello,
  • Hi,
  • Hi there,
  • Hello everyone,

Templates for maternity leave out-of-office messages

Concise version without greeting

I’m currently on maternity leave until [date] and cannot respond to your email. Please contact [first name, last name] directly at [email, phone number] if you have any questions or need assistance.

Kind regards,

[first name, last name]

A little more personal


Thank you for your message. I’m currently on maternity leave until [date] and fully consumed with taking care of my little one. Please contact my colleague [first name, last name] at [email, phone number], who can assist you with any questions you might have. I look forward to being in touch when I return.

Best wishes,

[first name, last name]

More informal, with contact options


I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my child and will be on maternity leave from [date] to [date].

My little one will be keeping me busy day and night, so I won’t be able to read or answer my emails. Please contact my co-worker [first name, last name] at [email, phone number] if you have any questions or need assistance.

For personal emails, please contact me at [email].

If you’d like to follow my journey as a new parent, follow me on Instagram [link].

I’m looking forward to being in touch when I’m back in the office.



Emails during maternity leave

Have you thought about whether and how you’d like to stay in touch with friends and colleagues by email during your maternity leave? Since you won’t be able to use your work email during this time, consider a more private alternative, such as a secure and spam-free email address from IONOS. Simply set up your personal email account before you leave.


Do you plan to continue working from home during maternity leave and need efficient software applications, easy access to shared data, and excellent data protection? If so, Hosted Microsoft Exchange from IONOS is the perfect solution.