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How to approach employer about extending mat leave & reducing hours?

(5 Posts)
JigglyPiggy Thu 02-Jul-09 14:15:14


Im starting to think more and more about what to do about returning to work as initially said i would return in september when DS will be nearly 4 mths.

The problem is I am having doubts about leaving him so soon if at all. Im in a lucky position in some respects as DH is a shift worker of sorts so will be doing a fair chunk of childcare but he will not be able to do it all which then raises the question of CM or nursery. Added to the problem is the fact that my DD is due to start school in september and I still don't know what hours she will be doing.

So before i torture myself any further I'm going to take the bull by the horns and try and sound out my employer. The trouble is how to start the conversation when Im not even sure of what I want exactly?!

I know I don't want to leave the job as its perfect in all other respects but Im feeling such guilt at changing my mind about returning so soon. I think this is mainly due to finding out i was pregnant within two weeks of starting there!

Any tips greatly appreciated.

LIZS Thu 02-Jul-09 16:58:53

Surely you are entitled to up to a year ML now, but need to give due notice of return or resignation by then . Until then you do not need to enter into any discussion.

risingstar Thu 02-Jul-09 18:56:58

Pretty sure that you are entitled to take a year, have to give 8 weeks notice if you intend to go back before the year is up.

double check this and then WRITE to your employer and tell them that although you originally planned to return in September, this will not now be possible. You will write and give 8 weeks notice of when you intend to return.

STOP feeling guilty-it seems mad to plan to go back in September which clashes with your daughter starting school when you could go in january or whatever. They have to hold your job for you and if they have employed temporary cover, that person may be glad of a few extra months work. If they thought that they could manage for a few months without you then it is only fair to let them know now so that they can make some arrangements.

either way, they get your maternity pay back from the govt so the additional costs to them are minimal!

flowerybeanbag Thu 02-Jul-09 19:35:11

As the others said, you are entitled to take a year, regardless of what date you intially gave. I would suggest you write immediately giving notice of your new return date.

If you don't know exactly what you want yet in terms of reduced hours, and it will be January or later before you are back anyway, I would suggest you don't raise that as an issue until a bit nearer the time, when you have had a chance to clarify your thoughts about what you want and put in a proper, thought-through flexible working request.

Please don't feel guilty, a huge number of women change their mind about what they want to do or when they want to return once baby has arrived so you are far from unusual anyway.

JigglyPiggy Fri 03-Jul-09 11:42:35

Thanks for the replies. I have talked this through with DH and I know that what I want is to stay off until January and he says he will support me in whatever I decide to do.

There is someone in on a temp basis to cover my role so fingers crossed they might want to stay on. I think at the time of recruiting they may have sounded this option out with people anyway.

The maternity pay is not an issue anyway as I was not entitled to it with them and I had to claim MA.

Im going in to see them shortly for a chat about things anyway but I will now put it in writing aswell to say I will return in January.

And I will do as you say and not discuss the flexible working hours yet as by January I will have a clearer idea of childcare issues once DD is at school.

I feel so much better already (and will try and stop feeling guilty), thank you smile

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