Your rights if you are not able to return on time from maternity leave

Site updated on July 6, 2017

If you are planning on a return to work, but you are not able to return  at the end of your maternity leave, for any reason,  you must inform your employer as soon as you know this.

If you are ill and unable to return to work, obtain a medical certificate from your doctor and send this to your employer. You are now entitled to sick pay or sick leave, details of this should be in your terms of employment or a Company handbook. If your Employer does not pay Company sick pay, you may still be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. You are still an employee and you are entitled to claim sick pay. If you have any problems on this ask for help from our Advice Line.

If you are not ill, but you are unable to return for some other reason; perhaps connected with caring for your child, you should request some Annual Holiday (which continues to accrue  during your maternity leave) or Parental Leave. For further details of this go to the Parental Leave Section of this guide. This would apply if your child is ill or you have problems in arranging childcare for example. You could be entitled to a further 4 weeks leave, called Parental Leave, although this is unpaid. You must give your Employer plenty of notice of the fact you will not be returning on the date expected.

If you would like to return to work on a part time basis; or request any other change to your contract, you can make a request for Flexible Working. See the section on Flexible Working in this guide. This process can take some time, so request this in good time and well in advance of the date you are due back at work.

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