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Can employers hold off your return after maternity?

(8 Posts)
jerin Sun 16-Aug-09 20:04:28

I work for an airline as cabin crew and the place is rife with rumours of redundancies and cost cutting. My 9 month back to work date is the middle of January, thats when my smp will stop and when I plan to return to work. The trouble is that we have to do a training course on our return and so far no dates have been made avialable for courses next year. Would the company be able to hold off letting us return until the summer when they will be busier again and need more crew? Even if it means that we take more than a year off? Or could they refuse to let us return until we've had our 12 months off? Theres several of us that fall into this catagory and are worried. We are getting late for applying to return on the last course date for this year. Thanks alot xx

MrsGladpuss Sun 16-Aug-09 23:18:13

No they can't put off your return date... unless they are prepared to pay you as per your contract or another amount that they agree with you in advance.


RibenaBerry Mon 17-Aug-09 09:49:42

Have you officially notified them that you will return to work at the end of nine months? Make sure that you have, because otherwise they are entitled to assume that you will take your full year and to make you give at least 8 weeks' notice of returning.

Provided you've given notice of your planned return they won't be able to stop you returning from leave when you want. Nor will they ever be able to compel you to stay off longer than 12 months on maternity leave, but I suppose they may implement short hours/reduced shifts for everyone after consultation as a more general cost cutting measure.

flowerybeanbag Mon 17-Aug-09 10:55:15

What Ribena said. As long as you give the correct notice to return, your return date is up to you. If they need you to do training then that's fine, but if they are unable to provide training at the exact moment you want to come back, that's not your problem and they should allow you to come back anyway.

jerin Mon 17-Aug-09 12:43:57

Thanks for your replies ....

So, following the birth of our babies they write to us giving us return dates which are 26, 39 and 52 weeks from our last working day. They also send us a list of course dates that we can return on giving 8 weeks notice. Therefore courses may be on 1st april & 26th may but your 39 week return date may be 21st april. (they do this as some months they have up to 8 girls starting maternity) meaning you either lose 3 weeks smp or have to take a month unpaid.
I want to return in January when my 39 week date falls but so far they have not decided upon any course dates. Does what you're saying mean that if I write to them now telling them I wish to return on Jan 20th (my 39 week date) they are obliged to start a course for me on that date or start paying me and find me another role? (I wouldnt be able to return to flying before passing a safe to fly course) Thanks again

flowerybeanbag Mon 17-Aug-09 12:53:15

You decide your return date, not them. You can return whenever you like. If they want you to do a course before you do anything else, then yes they will need to start a course on your first day.

Obviously that's unlikely to be practical, but that's not your problem. It's your right to return to work and if you can't fly then they will need to find you something else to do until you can.

jerin Mon 17-Aug-09 13:03:49

Thanks for that- it's a big help.
Also, forgot to ask - if redundancies are made on account of sickness, can sickness during pregnancy be included?
So I guess by sending return dates to us we choose one whereas if we were to put in writing to them before we recieve the list of dates that we want to return on our 39 week date they would have to re-start our wage on that date and tailor a course or find us another job to do.

RibenaBerry Tue 18-Aug-09 19:01:07

No - pregnancy sickness is a separate thing to normal sickness. The only time it's normally counted is for sick pay purposes. For something like redundancy, it's carved out (although internal paperwork is often rubbish at noting what was pregnancy related, so if this does come up, check that whoever is doing the scoring isn't accidentally including it!).

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