I am thinking about returning to work at the end of my maternity leave. What sorts of things do I need to think about prior to doing so and should I expect to return to the same job or not?
Paul Cowdery, Partner at Clarke & Son replies: Being a mother is a full-time job in itself and it is unlikely that you will have found a moment to think about what may be happening at your place of work. The decision to return to work after maternity leave is a difficult one but the transition back in to the workplace need not be a stressful one. A recent survey by the National Childbirth Trust indicated that nearly 45% of new mothers have returned to work sooner than they would have liked for fear of losing their job or damaging their future career opportunities or because their employer was not flexible enough. Of those people surveyed some 4% took less than two weeks off after the birth of their baby and some 40% returned after between 12 and 39 weeks. This does seem to indicate a lack of information being made available to mothers in respect of their rights upon returning to work after maternity leave. Generally speaking you have the right to return to the same job and on the same terms of employment. You are also entitled to receive any pay rises or bonuses which fell payable while you were on maternity leave. In addition your holiday entitlement accrues during maternity leave and if you have not tagged it on to the end of your leave then you are usually entitled to take what is left upon your return, subject to your employer’s annual leave policy. Notwithstanding the above, a lot can happen in six months or a year and sometimes it may not be reasonably practicable for you to return to exactly the same job. For example, there may have been an internal reorganisation resulting in your job being made redundant. In such circumstances your employer should offer you a suitable alternative role. Provided you have been employed for at least 26 weeks you are also entitled to make a flexible working request although there is no obligation on your employer to agree to the requested flexible working. Currently only employees who have caring responsibilities can make such a request but it should be noted that from 30th June 2014 the current flexible working regime will be significantly widened. The caring responsibility requirement will be removed so as to give all employees who have been employed for at least 26 weeks the right to make a flexible working request. Again the request only needs to be considered by the employer and does not need to be granted. Of course with these rights come responsibilities on your part. Firstly, your employer is entitled to make reasonable contact with you during your maternity leave. Such contact which may be deemed reasonable includes telephoning you for the purpose of updating you on changes in the workplace or informing you of promotion opportunities. You can also work up to ten days without losing your right to maternity pay and benefits. These are commonly known as “keeping in touch days”. Secondly, if you are planning on returning to work earlier or later than your previously agreed return date you must give your employer at least 8 weeks’ notice. Whilst returning to work can be a scary prospect there is no reason to think it need not be anything but a smooth transition. If you have any questions regarding maternity leave, or any other Employment Law matters, please contact our First Contact Team email@example.com or Tel: 01256 320 555. Do you have a legal query? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and the answer may be printed in the next edition of the Kempshott Kourier.
KEMPSHOTT HISTORY GROUP
Our January meeting was very popular with a high attendance to listen to the presentation by Margaret Clark and Jane Hussey on the long history of Buckskin farm. Our next meeting will be on the 13th April at the usual time of 2.30pm in the Kempshott Village Hall when guest speaker Alan Turton will present the history of the Pewlett, (Paulet), family who were big landowners in the Kempshott area. If you are interested in local history and in the Kempshott of old or would like to contribute your local recollections please come and join us in the Kempshott Village Hall at 2.30pm. We look forward to seeing you there to enjoy the presentation and refreshments. Contact us on 01256 470171 / 352776 or email@example.com or visit our web site at www.kempshotthistorygroup.org.uk Best Regards
Community Pre-school Old Down Hall, Kempshott,
Inviting all prospective families to our Open Day and Spring Craft Session! (children born between 1st Sept 2015 & 31st Aug 2016)
Saturday 3rd March 2018 10am – 12 noon All children welcome, and don’t forget to bring Mummy / Daddy /Grandparents. This is a great opportunity for some fun, to see the Pre-school and meet some of our friendly team. This is our taster session for all children joining us in April too!
…The Kempshott History Group …
See our website at www.dandelions-preschool.org.uk , call Jane on 01256 818857, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or just pop in and see us!
We look forward to seeing you for lots of fun! On Friday 10 January Barry Hedger gave a presentation on Down Grange, the owners and occupiers of Beachdown House, also known as Down Grange Farm and its 570 acres of land, not so much a farm as an estate. Land ownership gives a certain status so it was