Hello, I am going back to work on Monday after having taken 9 month maternity leave. My hours will be 9am-5pm. I find my boss a bit unflexible and need to do some research regarding company practices after maternity leave. Has your company offered you a phase back to work scheme for the first weeks after returning to work? I know that Direct Line is offering working mums to do short days in the initial period to ease the reintegration from maternity to business world. Could you please let me know if it has been the case where you are, which company does this? Thank you.
I don't think it's realistic to expect to be offered phased return, but you can certainly raise it yourself and the employer will have to consider it seriously. Raise it in advance so that your manager has the time to run it through HR.
With my second child I used my holidays to work half-days for the first two weeks after return and it was very helpful. I had a choice between this or getting paid pro-rata for the first two weeks (sort of working part-time for this short transitional period).
I also agreed to take (paid) breaks to express milk until the baby was 1 year old, i.e. over the length of 5 months.