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Changing return to work date after maternity

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by dancerstb, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. dancerstb

    dancerstb New commenter

    I originally stated in a letter that I would be returning to work full time on the 1st July. I am, however, struggling to find childcare for the last three weeks of term as I am returning part time in September and there are hardly any childminders in the area that have a space, and most won't accept a three week contract. What's the best way to ask to change my return to work date to the last day of term instead? Not entirely sure how to word my letter - I have discussed doing some KIT days so should be able to do 10 mornings (my Dad works shifts so can help out during a morning) during July which might ease the blow a little? Any advice would be fab! Thanks
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Congratulations on the new baby - and how nice that Grand-dad can take charge for a bit! Do remember, however, that although you can choose the return to work date, you cannot choose whether or not to have KIT days - they must be agreed by both sides.

    Do you mean that you want help with writing the letter? Which date is the last day of term?

    Best wishes

  3. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Will you have accrued sufficient entitlement to holiday, while on maternity leave, that you won't have used?

    Is it feasible to go back on 1st July but give notice that you will be taking the annual leave entitlement that you accrued whilst on maternity leave? Could that use up those last 3 weeks for you?
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    The NASUWT guide to Maternity Leave etc. gives the following information on this:

    Accrual of Statutory Annual Leave during Maternity Leave

    Teachers now have an entitlement to accrue statutory annual leave during their maternity 10 leave, which can be taken following the period of maternity leave. However, for the majority of teachers returning from maternity leave, this will have no practical effect for the reasons set out below.

    The annual leave year in schools usually runs from 1 September to 31 August. The statutory minimum legal entitlement to annual leave is 5.6 weeks (28 days) for a full-time teacher or the pro-rata equivalent for a part-time teacher.

    Statutory annual leave entitlement can be offset by any period of school closure (including public and bank holidays) that takes place in the leave year in question, either before or after the maternity leave period. For most teachers this will usually mean that periods of school closure either side of their maternity leave will add up to at least the 28 days’ statutory minimum legal entitlement.

    Where the return from maternity leave is so close to the end of the leave year that there is not enough time for a teacher to take all of her annual leave entitlement, she must be allowed to carry over any balance of her leave to the following leave year.

    However, the employer can require a teacher to take the ‘carried over’ leave during the remaining periods of school closure, after the 28 days’ leave due in the new leave year has been accommodated.

    If a teacher resigns from her post and does not, therefore, return to work at the end of her maternity leave period, she may be entitled to a payment in lieu of accrued statutory annual leave. However, it is likely that any additional payment would be used to offset any OMP that may need to be re-paid, following a failure to return to work for 13 weeks after a period of maternity leave.

    I have attached the guidance booklet for you.

    Best wishes


    Attached Files:

    GLsghost likes this.
  5. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    maybe you might want to get your user name changed so you can't be identified.
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Assuming your full year isn't up, you're fully entitled to change your return to work date, given sufficient notice (I can never remember whether it's 3 weeks or 8 weeks, but you're well in advance of either). So you do not need to worry about broaching the subject, or easing the blow. In fact, it may well work better for the school; there will be no need for the children to have a change of teacher for the last three weeks; they can see out the year with their current teacher - it's unlikely they won't be able to stay on, unless they've already seized the chance to book a termtime holiday (so the more notice the better).

    Of course, it would be very sensible to offer KIT days - in primary, if there is a "class-move" day, then I'm sure they would like you in for that, and in secondary there may be some training or preparation for new specs going on, and they may appreciate you going in at a couple of points. However KIT days are by mutual agreement, and they may not want to pay you to go in for 10 mornings - it's probably better value for them just to keep the maternity cover teacher.

    Your other alternative is for your partner to take some leave - now that they are entitled to share the year's leave, they could take those three weeks when you return - a great chance for them to bond with the baby, and solves the childcare issue.
  7. dancerstb

    dancerstb New commenter

    Thank you for all of your replies!
    Unfortunately my partner works in the same school so I think it would be a little complicated for him to take leave for those last three weeks. I think I'll write a letter explaining changing my return to work days and offer the mornings for KIT if the school would like me to do them (there's quite a bit of planning needed for the next academic year as there are curriculum changes for our department and I've offered to work on these).
    I'm not entirely sure how the accrual of leave works - I finished work on November 22nd 2015? Is it ok to put the first day of the school holidays as my return to work date?
    And yes - good idea about changing my name!! :)
  8. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    So please change your name!
    It is not just a good idea, it is essential.
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    From what has been posted above, it looks like you are going to get at least the required 28 days from autumn half-term and the summer holiday, so that approach won't work. I think that you can put any day you like as your return to work date - people doing maternity cover have complained about this in the past.
  10. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Would shared parental leave work for those last 3 weeks?
  11. dancerstb

    dancerstb New commenter

    I'm can't figure out how? (I'd love to say I've still got baby brain but I'm sure it's just my daft ict knowledge!)
  12. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Your partner is entitled to take shared parental leave, whether or not it's convenient for the school.
    Given that you seem keen to do what works best for the school, and it is allowed for the parental leave to be taken in blocks of less than a week if the employer agrees, you could suggest to the school that the two of you share those last three weeks as seems to work best for the school. If they understand that they can only have one of you at a time, then between you you can probably come up with a timetable.
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

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