Returning to Work from Maternity Leave


We will assume that you will be returning to work 52 weeks from when your maternity leave starts. However, if you wish to return prior to the end of your maternity period you must give at least eight weeks’ notice in writing of your intended date of return.

If you return to work during a period of maternity leave you will forfeit any further entitlement to maternity pay.

If you decide not to return to work either before or following a period of maternity leave you must give the University written notice in accordance with your contract of employment. You may be asked to work the remainder of your notice period if it expires after maternity leave.

If you qualify for Enhanced University maternity pay, but decide to resign prior to maternity leave being taken, you will not receive any enhanced payments beyond the statutory payments. The University reserves the right to reclaim the non-statutory element of maternity pay from those members of staff who were eligible for enhanced maternity pay, but did not return to work for three months following their maternity leave.

If you require a parking permit you must (re)join the car parking scheme on return from maternity leave, if return is in a new car parking year (ie September annually).

Subsequent Pregnancy whilst on Maternity Leave

If, on maternity leave you become pregnant, you may of course return to work if you wish. However, if you are unable to return to work you will need to give consideration to the fact that if you have already received Enhanced University maternity pay, you will still need to return to work for three months for each and every period of maternity leave, e.g. the two periods of maternity leave individually require you to return to work for three months, therefore, these will be added together to mean that you will need to return to work for six months following your second period of maternity leave. If you fail to return to work for the relevant period of time then the University will seek to reclaim the non-statutory element of maternity pay for all periods of consecutive maternity leave. You will need to refer to the Maternity Leave Policy to see if you are eligible for any maternity pay.


The Health and Safety Executive encourages employers to provide a private and safe environment for nursing mothers to express and store milk. Although this is not a legal requirement, the University encourages Schools/Departments to try and accommodate as far as reasonably practicable such requests.

If you require such facilities please inform your manager, if possible prior to your return, to ensure that your School/Department is given a sufficient amount of time to try and make suitable arrangements for you. Please note that it is not deemed suitable to use toilets for this purpose. There is no statutory right to time off work for breastfeeding.

On your return to work your line manager should review your risk assessment. The specific risk assessment should contain details of any control measures required to address any potential risks to you as the nursing mother and include details of any rest facilities. 

Last edited Dec 13, 2015