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Return to work after maternity leave

(7 Posts)
BatFlattery Wed 10-Aug-11 17:51:45

I went on maternity leave on 7th January this year, and a colleague and I have applied for a jobshare, as she is due back around the same time as me and we both held the same role.

Anyway, this request has been denied, as we thought it probably would be, however, at the bottom of the letter I received today via email, it says they 'look forward to hearing whether I will be going back full time or not by the 30th August'. I am very confused - I didn't think there was a time limit of that nature on when I had to confirm if I would be going back full time or not???

I have just counted up the weeks, and 30th Aug is 33.5 weeks since I went on maternity leave.

Where do I stand on this?

Any advice much appreciated.

Steph260311 Wed 10-Aug-11 18:08:15

I believe the law says that if you're going back to work after maternity leave sooner than what you originally said you'd take then you need to give 8 weeks notice to your employer. When did you say you were going back? Also have you tried the appeals process with regard to your flexible working application? Get in the union if you aren't already and follow the appeals process with support from a union rep.

flowery Wed 10-Aug-11 19:34:00

What date are you due back at present? If you're not going back you need to hand in your normal notice so whatever time period that is. If you have a going back date already and want to change it you need to give 8 weeks notice.

As long as you comply with both of those they should assume you are going back full time on the day after your maternity leave is due to end unless told otherwise.

BatFlattery Wed 10-Aug-11 23:19:43

Dates to return to work were never discussed, but I thought the assumption on their part must be that it's 52 weeks unless I tell them otherwise. So I would be due to return 7th Jan 2012. I would probably go back before that (around Oct/Nov), and understand that I would have to give them 8 weeks' notice, although I think they would have me back before then due to staffing issues.

We were going to give the appeals process a go, but TBH I do think the points they raised are valid, also my colleague's situation has changed recently and she is no longer sure it would even work for her. Hence my decision to go back full time whilst I look for something part time (we need a second wage unfortunately).

Just to muddy the waters somewhat, a position has come up in a different department in the last couple of days doing much the same as I already do but in a more 'exciting' department. My colleague and I have applied for this on a jobshare basis (as advised by HR), and have an interview lined up for Sept. Now I'm wondering if I should withdraw our joint application (as it seems it will no longer work for her anyway) and apply for the position on my own. Will this just create unecessary complications when I don't really have much intention of staying for long? Although in the current job market it could be months or longer until I find a part time position.

God, nothing's easy, is it?

flowery Thu 11-Aug-11 09:26:26

If you're not happy in your current job, bearing in mind that it might take you quite a while to find a permanent job elsewhere, I'd go for the new job on your own.

Steph260311 Thu 11-Aug-11 16:51:42

It could be the case that although your current post is not job-shareable, the one you've applied for is so if your friend/colleague can't take it they could employ someone else for the other half of the jobshare.
Don't forget that you can always look elsewhere for suitable part time jobs whilst on maternity leave - I know most people think they won't get jobs due to being on maternity leave but I know 3 people who successfully changed jobs while on mat leave so it is possible.

BatFlattery Thu 11-Aug-11 20:53:53

Thanks for the advice, will take everything into account. Am going in for an informal chat with HR tomorrow.

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