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Supporting employees’ return from maternity leave

NPA Essential

Supporting employees’ return from maternity leave

When new mums come back to the workplace, it can often be a daunting experience. Pharmacies need to take steps before and while the employee is on maternity leave to pave the way to a smooth return.

Use KIT days wisely

An employee can also work up to 10 days during maternity leave through Keep in Touch (KIT)  days. They can be a fantastic  way to ease the transition process.

Contact the employee during maternity leave

Before they go on maternity leave, you should agree on how much contact they should receive, who will contact the  employee  and the best way to do this. You need to inform them of any proposed redundancies and promotions at your pharmacy which may arise during their maternity leave otherwise there is a risk of claims of unlawful discrimination. To discuss this further, contact the NPA Employment Law Advisory Service Team.

Invite them into work events

It’s good practice to invite  all  employees  to the work events, including those on maternity leave. But don’t press them to come as their family commitments mean that it may too difficult.

Take flexible working requests seriously

New mothers have the right to ask, but they do not have an automatic right to demand, that their hours are changed or reduced when they return to work.

Employers must, however, consider the request in a reasonable manner and can only refuse a request for a clear business reason. This can help you retain your skilled employees who were thinking

of leaving your pharmacy because they couldn’t do the  standard  hours,  start  at the time expected or deal with the lengthy commute.

Plan their return

If an employee returns during the first 26 weeks, the employee is entitled to return to the job they held before they commenced their maternity leave – same job, same terms and same conditions.

If the employee returns between 26 and 52 weeks, they have the right to their previous job. If you cannot offer them their previous job, you will need to offer them a suitable similar job, which must have the same or equivalent terms and conditions.

To discuss this further, contact the NPA Employment Law Advisory Service Team on 0330 123 0558 or

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NPA Essential