An employee may not return to work before the end of her compulsory two-week maternity leave period, from the date of childbirth.
An employee who is returning to work after a period of Ordinary Maternity Leave only (the first 26 weeks), is entitled to return to the same job in which she was employed before she went on leave, on terms and conditions that are the same as, or no less favourable than those that would have applied had she not been absent on maternity leave (unless a redundancy situation has arisen or a fixed-term contract has come to an end).
An employee who is returning to work after a period of Additional Maternity Leave (weeks 27-52), or a period of at least four weeks’ parental leave on top of her OML, will normally return to the same job she was in before she went on leave. However, if there is a reason other than redundancy which means that it is not reasonably practicable for the University to permit her to return to the same job, she is entitled to return to a different job which is both suitable for her and appropriate in the circumstances, on terms and conditions that are no less favourable than they would have been has she not been absent (unless a redundancy situation has arisen or a fixed-term contract has come to an end).
Employees have the right to request flexible working (such as a change to their hours, times or place of work) and the employing department must deal with this request in accordance with the University’s flexible working request procedure. However, if an employee wishes to work a flexible working pattern on a temporary basis to ease her return to work, she should discuss this with her department as soon as possible. It may be possible to use accrued annual leave for this purpose.
Employees returning from maternity leave may also have a separate entitlement to Parental Leave which is a period of unpaid leave.