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chris-hadrill-profileChris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, answers the question:

“Am I entitled to return to the same job after I return from maternity leave?”

What your rights are upon your return from maternity leave depends upon whether you have only taken Ordinary Maternity Leave (“OML”) (the first 26 weeks’ leave) or whether you have taken Additional Maternity Leave (“AML”) (a period of 26 weeks’ leave which begins on the day after your period of OML ends).

If you have only taken OML (or have returned before the end of OML) then you are entitled to return to the same job in which you were employed prior to your maternity leave. Further, the terms and conditions under which you are employed must be the same as, or no less favourable than, the terms and conditions you would have returned to work under if you had not been absent. The only exception to this is if a redundancy situation arises whilst you are on maternity leave – however, if a redundancy situation does arise then your employer must take the usual steps to carry out a fair redundancy process (including, for example, creating a fair pool for redundancy, using fair selection criteria, applying these criteria fairly, consulting with you, and considering alternative employment for you).

If you have taken AML then you are, again, entitled to return to work in the same job and on the same terms and conditions as if you had not been absent from work. However, if you have taken a period of AML then your employer may be able to place you in a different job upon your return if there is some reason (other than redundancy) which renders it not reasonably practicable to allow you to return to the same job. In these circumstances:

  • You are entitled to return to a different job which is both suitable for you and appropriate in the circumstances; and
  • The terms and conditions must not be less favourable than they would have had you not been absent from your job

It is not the case that, should you have taken AML, you are automatically lose your right to return to your old job and are only entitled to return to a suitable alternative job – the onus is on your employer to show why it is not reasonably practicable for you to return to your previous job.

If you are returning from a period of OML and your employer states that they wish to transfer you to a new job then you may have claims for pregnancy and maternity discrimination, breach of the Maternity and Paternity Leave Regulations, and automatic unfair dismissal.

If you are returning from a period of AML and your employer states that they wish to transfer you to a new job then, if your employer cannot show that it was not reasonably practicable to allow you to return to your job, you may have (again) claims for pregnancy and maternity discrimination, breach of the Maternity and Paternity Leave Regulations, and automatic unfair dismissal.

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog. Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

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    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    371 Reviews

    Jonathan L

    The service I received was friendly and professional. I appreciated the timely communications and Mel was always available for any questions I had. I'd definitely recommend Redmans and will use them in a heartbeat should the situation arise again.

    Posted 4 days ago

    Glyn B

    Provided a great service, covered all my requirements

    Posted 4 days ago

    Fidel A

    Redmans Solicitors recently helped me navigate a recent employment termination settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill is very professional and you will be in good hands with him. I score Redmans 4 out of 5 because things had to move fast and felt the team member assigned to my case wasn't very responsive at times. Having said that, I was very happy with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending their services.

    Posted 5 days ago

    Nigel A

    Chris Hadrill is hugely impressive - the right blend of assured calm and savvy professionalism. I've already recommended him to friends and family.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Matt O

    I was hugely impressed with the ease of being able to work with Redmans Solicitors and their professional approach. Mel was really clear around the process, and costings required and I felt comfortable throughout. I would certainly recommend.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Bryan G

    Great response, and also happy to assist

    Posted 6 days ago

    David L

    I was made a settlement offer by my employer to terminate my emplyment early. Redmans helped me understand the offer, and ensured that it was fair for someone in my position. They made a very stressful situation much easier. Excellent service.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I can highly recommend Redmans. The service was professional and prompt and I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Overall I am satisfied with the performance from Redmans. The reason I have given 4 stars is that I had quite a lot difficulty in contacting the representative which was initially nominated for me. However, when I contacted Chris instead, he was excellent over the phone and secured a great outcome in short order. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Chris and Redmans were a great help. Effective and efficient, quick response from my first enquiry and then straightforward and attentive throughout with ultimately a positive outcome. I will use them again and recommend them.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Marie P

    Great service, quick responses, good advice and all in a no nonsense, no jargon manner. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Rana was amazingly thorough and professional!

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    I am extremely happy with the legal advice I was provided with. My case was resolved to the best of my expectations. Thank you very much for your professional help.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Shahzad R

    Chris and his team were excellent. They provided sound advice and consultation that resulted in more cash than was offered. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Sanjay B

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mel Chin, for all her support during my settlement process. Where she provided a professional service and was understanding. I would confidently recommend Redmans Solicitors to my friends and family. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Paul O

    Excellent response time and communication during my dealings with Redmans

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

    Posted 1 month ago

    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jianya

    Very nice and patient went through the whole document with me.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Susan L

    Very helpful and led me through the redundancy process.

    Posted 1 month ago