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I have a colleague who is on maternity leave at the moment and is taking another 6 months unpaid leave. The problem is, we have a new member of staff (to replace me) that is unable to work one day, so would it be legal to ask the one on maternity to work days around this other girl. She used to work 7 out of the 8 sessions, but has told us that she only wants to come back for 2.

I was told that if you are on the paid maternity leave you are entitled to come back your usual hours if you want to, but it's different if you take an extra 6 months.

Are you confused?......... :o

Can anyone clarify.


Thanks in advance


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Your maternity rights stay the same whether you take 6 months or 1 year. You are entitled to the same job you had before and to request reduction in hours if you prefer. An employer has to have a VERY good reason as to why they would not accommodate this.


There are many legalities involved. Maybe when you have children, you will realise how important they are to you. I would imagine the last thing on your colleagues mind is whether she fits in with your scenario and more about how she can best fit in work in with family life. Please don't put pressure on her to do anything different.


I hope this helps clarify your situation. However, this is a great website with tons of information on maternity rights:



Edited by Guest
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Hi Wbobs,

I hope I didn't give the wrong impression as to my request. I have ALWAYS done everything possible to make my employees life as easy as possible to work around our own families. It is a question that will be asked and if it isn't possible for her then so be it.

The tone in your reply seems to suggest that I haven't got children and haven't bent over backwards to meet the needs of all my members of my staff, whether ill, attending their children's special assemblies, personal problems etc. etc.................................. in this day and age everything has to be done along the legal lines. It will be in the interest of all employees, herself included (to reduce her number of key children for one!) to swap one session - not even 100% sure if she is returning yet, but the option is there - just heard through another colleague what her 'possible' intentions were. It would be foolish as a supervisor not to try to think ahead to look at all 'scenarios'.

I am certainly not the type of person to put pressure on anyone! - As I said, it is at the moment a possible solution to help everyone when I leave.

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