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NHS workers Maternity Guidelines HELP letter from manager re: return to work after mat leave

(10 Posts)
lisa111 Sat 23-Jun-07 12:46:45

Received a letter this morning from my line manager. Its got me all wound up and confused, i had m/c 4 weeks ago so my head is a bit done in.

The short version:

1. 12 months have passes since you went off on mat leave.

2. Under mat guidelines in effect July 06 you are required to give 28 days notice of your anticipated return date.

3. Confirm this date in writing no later than 25 June 07.

1. I started mat leave on 17/07/06, as i am taking the full 52 weeks my return date is 15/07/07.

2. I did not think i had to give any notice as i am not returning early. HR never even confirmed in writing the date my maternity leave ends.

3. Today is 23rd June, and she wants letter by Mon 25th. I would have to hand deliver it.

I do not get on with my manager, we have had problems in the past, I wrote a letter to her complaining about her temper and stated private and confidential on the letter.

she asked another member of staff to read a letter and express what they thought of it.

I will never be able to confide in her again, i will try my best to have a good working relationship with her but i feel this will get us off to a bad start, she is not going to like me telling her she has got it all wrong???

But have i got it all wrong???

Sorry for the long post PLEASE HELP

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 23-Jun-07 16:55:37

From what i remember, if i went back after the initial 6 month period I didnt have to advise them of my return date. If i took the additional, I had to let them know a month prior to the end if I planned to return or not. If you leave started June 06 I think they do have the write to ask what your intentions are.

RibenaBerry Sat 23-Jun-07 17:04:52

The manager is wrong. You are not required to notify of your return date unless it is before the normal expiry of your maternity leave. The idea is that it would be a bit of a shock to them if after, say, 10 months, you just appeared one Monday morning! For that reason, you have to give notice if you want to come back early. If you come back at the end, they know exactly when to expect you, so no need for a letter. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/WorkAndFamilies/DG_065153

Having said that, I would write back to get her off your case.

Do not panic about the deadline. What on earth is this woman going to do if you do not comply?

Personally, I would take a deep breath, then write her a note. If you can email, even better because you can copy it to HR. Tell her that, as she knows, your maternity leave will expire on 15 July 2007 and you plan to retun then.

DO NOT WORRY. This must be a difficult time for you and you mustn't let her make it worse. She cannot do anything if you do not comply with her deadline, but you might as well write back to prevent her sending another stroppy missive.

BetsyBoop Sat 23-Jun-07 19:04:56

ditto what Ribena said

DTI guidelines

Sixofone Sat 23-Jun-07 19:08:17

Wow, that's really interesting...because I was hounded for a letter confirming my return date too (and also went back when I said I was going back!) Maybe it's an NHS thing?

poptot Sat 23-Jun-07 19:22:57

Our mat leave guidelines do say you have to inform your employer of intended date of return to work in case you don't plan to come back when you have to pay the money back or want to reduce hours etc. She's right I'm afraid. Agree re emailing or phoning and following up with a letter

RibenaBerry Sun 24-Jun-07 10:23:57

The maternity guidelines can say whatever the company likes, but they can't overrule the law (which says that you can only compel 28 days' notice if an employee wants to return early). I think that you can look on the guidelines as a polite request for administrative convenience, whereas Lisa's line manager has treated them like a compulsion.

In relation to leaving, you are totally correct. Employees often forget that you cannot just decide at the end of your maternity leave not to return to work. Not coming back is resiging, so you have to give the notice that you would give to resign.

In relation to asking for part time hours, etc. Again, it's a practical question. If you want your employer to consider that sort of request before you come back, you need to give them time to do it.

Asking you to tell your employer about your plans is sensible. Forcing you is not what the law allows. I think that Lisa's line manager has got over-enthusiastic in applying the policy and, in the process, upset her.

Lisa, are you ok now?

Judy1234 Sun 24-Jun-07 10:49:00

I agree with ribenab - that's a good summary.
It's also a bit difficult to send a private letter to your boss about work issues and their treatment of you because the boss probably has a duty to report it to HR so they're stuck between a rock and a hard place and probably do have to disclose it.

Being home with children is dull anyway so cease any chance you can to get back to full time work (just my view).

lisa111 Sun 24-Jun-07 20:36:02

Thank You all,

I will be e-mailing my manager tonight. Stating: I do not need to give any notice as i am not returning before my maternity leave expires.

I found the maternity guidelines i received from HR. She should try reading them herself.

Once again a big THANK YOU

chocolatekimmy Sun 24-Jun-07 20:44:39

so sorry you had a miscarriage recently. I hope you have lots of support around you.

When you confirmed in writing the date you were commencing maternity leave they had 28 days to acknowledge that letter AND give you the date that they would expect you back - i.e.: one year on (if you were of course entitled to the full year)

All you then have to do is go off, have baby and return to work on the date they have given you. Unless you want to go back early in which you have to give them 28 days notice in writing.

I would just ignore it completely and return on the correct day. If they haven't given you the date (as above), just go back when you think it should be. They can't sack you for it if you reasonably thought you were returning on the correct date.

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