Returning to work after any time off can be tough, and even harder if you’re coming back from maternity leave. It can be overwhelming to be back at work, or you could feel terrible about leaving your baby for long periods of time when you’ve been spending too much time together. Making the transition is a big step, so you want to try and make it as easy as you can to get back to work.
Here are some tips and your rights about getting back to work after maternity leave.
One of the best ways to ease into returning to work from maternity leave is to do a phased return. This could be reduced hours each day, working from home or only working a few days a week instead of the full week. Working like this for a few weeks can help you get a bit more used to working life without making the full transition back.
Plan Regular Reviews
Make sure you check in regularly with your fellow staff and employers so they can monitor how well your return is going. Then if you’re struggling you can bring it up at one of these reviews. Don’t worry about asking for help, everybody knows that easing back into work is hard and will be happy to help you out.
Eligible employees can take up to 52 weeks of maternity leave and must take at least 2 after the birth before returning to work. The first 26 weeks are known as ordinary maternity leave while the last 26 are additional maternity leave. Maternity pay normally ends at 39 weeks, so many choose to return to work then. If you go over the 52 weeks, you can take more time off but on statutory sick pay or annual leave instead.
If you’re returning to work within 26 weeks, you’re entitled to return to the same job. After this you can still return but your employer may replace you if they have a good business reason why not, such as making significant changes to the structure of the company while you are gone. In this case, they may offer you an alternative job with the same terms. Keeping on the person covering your maternity leave is not a valid reason, and if your employer doesn’t offer you your job back, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal or maternity discrimination.
Employment Law Support From Craig Swan Solicitors
If you feel you’ve been discriminated against when you’re trying to return from maternity leave, get in touch with Swan Craig Solicitors today. We can provide legal advice and court representation for a wide range of employment law matters.
If you need expert advice today, call now on 01179 200128. Visit our website now to find out more about the full range of services we offer for both businesses and individuals.