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Teachers- returning to work after maternity in holidays- doctors note required???

(24 Posts)
plusonemore Mon 17-Aug-09 08:07:39

My authority is insisting on a note to say I am 'fit' to return to work (cos i've been ill havent i? idiots ) they say its part of the teachers pay conditions. My union says they have never heard of it before, don't think they can insist on it. Just wondering if any other teachers have had this please? Or can think of any reason why it is necessary!!! Thanks

TheHappyCamper Mon 17-Aug-09 08:36:37

No, I didn't have to do this! I returned from ML to school in July. My LEA payroll people just phoned me up and asked me to confirm in writing the date I was returning to work. Seems a bit odd hmm

plusonemore Mon 17-Aug-09 08:39:35

thanks, its really starting to annoy me now. My docotr has decided he is standing his ground and not doing me a note, says he is fed up with doing unneccesary notes, its not what NHS funding is for. I completely agree but I do want to get paid!!! I have been off since early september and budgeted carefully expecting to be paid more in July so this month has been hard. Luckily I have a bit of savings to fall back on but its not the point is it

slug Mon 17-Aug-09 09:18:17

I'm sure this one has been covered before. You are on leave you are not ill. You don't supply a doctor's note to return from leave.

RibenaBerry Mon 17-Aug-09 09:52:25

No doctor's note is required. I suggest that your union helps you to put in a grievance, and that you state that you require back pay too. Provided you gave the correct notice of your planned return date (i.e. you told them either when you went off or 8 weeks before your return when you were coming back), I think it would be a simple tribunal claim to seek back pay.

If you didn't give notice, then unless it was the very end of your 12 weeks, they can make you give 8 weeks' notice of return, but that's a slightly separate point.

KembleTwins Mon 17-Aug-09 09:57:35

Not as far as I know. I was union rep for several years and never heard of anything like that. I went back after ML a few weeks before the summer hol (and did only 7 weeks "working" out of the 13 required, then resigned) and did wonder if that would cause probs, but was assured that, in terms of return-to-work, it's not YOUR problem that your place of work isn't open for those weeks of the year - you are employed all year round, and therefore can take ML at any point, and subsequently return at any point, as long as you follow the correct procedures (ie give correct notice for when you intend to return) Sick note? Rubbish.

cazzybabs Mon 17-Aug-09 10:02:41

I haven't had to when I returned in the summer holidays - did have to give a month's notice

flowerybeanbag Mon 17-Aug-09 10:53:22

What a load of rubbish. As long as you've given the correct notice as to what date you want to return, that's all you need to do.

tryingtobemarypoppins Mon 17-Aug-09 11:10:15

Are you sure they knew your were pregnant and not sick?? Sounds very odd.

My head told me that he would prefer me to return to class a few weeks before the end of the summer term, not the final day as I would like as he thinks it’s not moral pay wise on the supply cover. I think he means they wouldn't get paid over the summer and I would.

fivecandles Mon 17-Aug-09 14:56:47

Rubbish. I think that's also crap tryingto. Yes, it's rubbish that supply teachers don't get paid over summer but that's their look out and nothing to do with you. Your supply teacher's pay and conditions should have absolutely no impact on yours.

fivecandles Mon 17-Aug-09 14:57:57

And BTW at our place they don't even make you come in on the last day of term. They say you can say you are returning to work on the first day of the holidays and get paid accordingly.

plusonemore Mon 17-Aug-09 18:01:58

thanks everyone, good to know i'm not alone in thinking this is ridiculous

Am in a dilema now though...union says

"A GP's note shouldn't be necessary if there has been no indication that the teacher is not medically fit to return to work. However it does protect the employer if the teacher is not in fact fit to return to work and she is then signed off sick at the beginning of the school term. And since it is a prerequisite for the commencement of the 13 week 'return to work' period, teachers should be advised to provide the note to those employers who insist on it. If she is not medically fit to return to work, she would have to "return" on sick leave or remain on maternity leave."

and advise me to persist in getting the note even though they don't agree with it.

I need the money so should I ask again?

BUT I agree with the doctor and am annoyed by this rule so am tempted to try to persist in getting my union to help me refute this requirement. WWYD?

KembleTwins Mon 17-Aug-09 19:12:59

I would just get the note. Explained like that, I guess there is some sense in it - it just protects the school from a teacher who might try to claim 6 weeks pay and then not come back in September, yes? If there is ANY evidence that they are not totally out of line to ask for it, then I don't think it's worth the battle IMO. Can you take a copy of the union advice to the dr and ask for the note?

I agree it shouldn't be necessary, but also think it's not worth fighting if it means you might lose out on pay in the long run. Have you spoken to someone at your union, or got the info of a website? Might be worth a conversation with a union person to see whether they would fight it for you on the basis of now having found that info.

plusonemore Mon 17-Aug-09 21:41:48

thanks kemble, although I am still at a loss as to why they need it. I could actually be signed as 'sick' by my GP and 'return to work' ie be paid, but sick, so it really doesnt matter!!! The union seem to say its in some way protecting the teacher but I dont get it.

I have been in consultation with my union, the quote was a direct response from them. Its just soooooooooooooo frustrating, I AM NOT SICK I HAVE HAD A BABY!!!!!

Not made any better by my husband getting made redundant today

KembleTwins Mon 17-Aug-09 21:56:55


I don't get it either - just think it's sometimes better to take a deep breath and do what they ask...

Hope things start looking up soon.

plusonemore Tue 18-Aug-09 07:24:09


gonna take it out on the students next door but one this morning who woke me at 11pm when they went out and then 4 and 5 am when they got back. Wonder how they will like being woken at 9am??

RibenaBerry Tue 18-Aug-09 13:14:29

"However it does protect the employer if the teacher is not in fact fit to return to work and she is then signed off sick at the beginning of the school term."

No it doesn't. Not in any way, shape or form. You could be well now and still sick in September. I can see that, pragmatically, you might want to get the note. However, if you do, can I put in a personal plea to still follow this up? It must be wasting the valuable time of many GPs, and making lots of teachers make unecessary trips to the GP at the end of their maternity leave. I would ask your GP for the note, but also beg him to write to someone (union, school, etc), and do the same yourself. Please, please?

plusonemore Tue 18-Aug-09 16:09:10

oh yes, I've already asked my union about who I should make a complaint to about this, its completely what we're trying to get away from isnt it? paperwork for the sake of paperwork


PleaseDeleteMeLetmeGo Tue 18-Aug-09 16:20:06

It's just rubbish. Even if the GP signed you as fit to work today you might not be tomorrow so it offers no 'protection' whatsoever.

Grr on your behalf.

plusonemore Tue 18-Aug-09 16:48:21

(love your name btw please delete me!)

annaunion Tue 05-Sep-17 11:34:09

Hi. I'm a F/T official with a teachers union.The advice you have been given isn't completely correct as whether you need to supply a fit note depends on the date you want to return to work.

You need to look at The Burgundy Book Section 5 para 5.3.

In order to keep all your occupational maternity pay (OMP) you must return to work for 13 weeks.

If you are returning from maternity leave in term time you do not need to submit a fit note because the 13 weeks is triggered by your return to work BUT if you want to return to work during a school holiday period you must supply a fit note as it is this that triggers the 13 weeks (because you have not physically returned). See the wording of 5.3. It is, therefore, in your interests to supply a fit note if your return is in the holidays in order to ensure the 13 weeks starts running.

when are you due to end your maternity leave?

flowery Tue 05-Sep-17 12:23:56

annaunion in response to your query, the OP was due to end her maternity leave in 2009, so hopefully she has received payment now and probably taken three more maternity leaves since then

annaunion Tue 05-Sep-17 13:46:52

Oh yes! I'm a numpty. can you tell this is my first post. LOL.

flowery Tue 05-Sep-17 15:21:43

grin Very good answer though, knowledgeable about the Burgundy Book!

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