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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

    4.76 Average

    235 Reviews

    Paul O

    Chris & Rana guided me through a redundancy discussion. Prompt & patient assistance with the documents & meetings. Clear advice & fast responses regarding negotiations. Would definitely recommend & would use again without hesitation.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Outstanding, efficient service. Thank you so much!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jaswant S

    Very very happy with the good service I got Thank you so much for your help

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Mel and Chris were fantastic and supportive throughout! 1000% recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Emma D

    Good responsive service

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mike T

    Good efficient service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Brenda G

    Very professional and helpful

    Posted 1 month ago

    Charles A

    Chris Hadrill was recommended to me when I found myself in need of a solicitor at very short notice. He contacted me almost immediately to arrange a call. Chris handled my case in a professional and timely manner and kept me notified throughout. Chris inspired confidence and made me feel I was being cared for. If ever I'm in need of legal representation, I would not hesitate to contact Chris. And will gladly recommend him to family and friends.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Rosalind R

    I was very happy with the service that I received from Redmans Solicitors. They were able to advise me accordingly with regards to my employment matter and stay within the agreed costing.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karl B

    Caroline and Chris were so helpful and friendly. Couldn't of asked for a better service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Dimitrios P

    Excellent, professional service, in time and within the expected value.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Barbara K

    Everything quickly and fairly. Very professional. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Sabrina J

    I received a efficient professional service during the whole process of liasing between myself and my former employer to getting all forms signed and receiving my redundancy payment in full in the summer of this year.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I received legal advice on a redundancy settlement agreement from Redmans Solicitors and was very impressed by the quality of their service. Chris Hadrill is highly experienced in settlement matters and was especially understanding of the particulars of my case, going out of his way to ensure that it was resolved quickly and with the utmost professionalism. I have no hesitation in recommending Redmans to anyone in need of employment advice and settlement resolution.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service, with full explanations of everything needed. Both Chris and Mel answered all emails very promptly and were personable and efficient.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I would like to thank Chris Hadrill, in particular who handled my case, for all his hard work, expertise and dedication. He listened with empathy and offered suitable advice, which made me feel valued and confident through a difficult time. I would highly recommend Chris and the team at Redmans Solicitors. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Yann G

    Yann Guezennec / Chris Hadrill - Thanks for the detailed, informed and professional advice for my settlement. When comprise is the rule I felt we could have been maybe a bit more aggressive from the start. However an acceptable outcome considering the situation. Thank you

    Posted 1 month ago

    Valentina D

    Great service from Mel, she was very good at explaining every part of the settlement agreement and very efficient dealing with the HR team. Very professional team, I would definitely use them again in future if the opportunity came up.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Olaf S

    I was very happy with the service that I have received. Thank You Regards

    Posted 1 month ago

    Rebecca A

    I had a wonderful solicitor called Caroline who was so helpful and gave me all the information I need and explained everything in detail so I was crystal clear. Would highly recommend if you are in need of a solicitor!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gareth J

    Very efficient, helpful and pragmatic support from Caroline. Happy to work with my requirements / suggestions but also made some very good points which helped to achieve a higher settlement amount. Would highly recommend Caroline and Chris.

    Posted 1 month ago