Back to work: What if I need to change the date?

With a million factors affecting your life now you’re a mum, what if you’re proposed back to work date is no longer feesible? Here’s what you need to know

What if I need to change my return to work date?

So much can change once your little one arrives, so what if you need or want to change your agreed return to work date?

Mum at computer

If there’s one thing we know it’s that things can really change once your baby is born. You can have everything planned to the tiniest detail before your little one arrives, but reality and practicalities can turn many plans upside down. And this is no different with going back to work.

You may have thought you would take the full amount of time off for maternity, which is the first working day 52 weeks after your statutory maternity leave (SML) began.

But what if you decide you need to return to work earlier?

If this is the case, you must give notice at least eight weeks before your suggested new return date. The company can accept less notice, but it is at their discretion. If you don’t give your notice, your employer can postpone your return by up to eight weeks. 

What if I planned to come back earlier and now want longer maternity leave?

Again, you need to give your employer at least eight weeks’ notice of when you plan to return. It’s a good idea to stay in contact with your employer to keep the communication open. 

What do I do if now I don’t want to return to work after maternity leave?

Again, you need to give as much notice as you can. If your circumstances have changed and you planned to return but have decided not to, it’s best to follow your company’s resignation policy and offer the same notice as anyone handing in their notice would.

What if I’ve decided to resign but I am still on maternity leave?

If you hand in your notice before the end of your statutory maternity pay (SMP) period, you will still receive the full 39 week SMP and will not be required to pay back any SMP.

Back to work: What if I need to change the date?