Running down notice period after maternity leave


My partner is due to return to work from maternity at the start of 2024 but her preference is not to return at all. She does have some enhanced MP so we are aware that will need to be repaid if she does not to return. There is a possible option to return on reduced hours. 

Does anyone have experience of navigating a return to work to just run down the notice? If going back part time instead of full time, would some of the enhance pay be payable pro rata? In your experience is it better to give your employer as much notice as possible or leave it as late as possible? Any other suggestions that worked for you? 



  • It would depend on her company's policy.

    In my last organisation someone had to return for 6 months after mat leave to not pay back the enhanced pay, and it didn't matter if they did full time or part time when they returned, they just had to do the 6 months. In my current organisation they can leave as soon as their mat leave is over and not have to pay back any enhanced pay.

    Notice for what? If it's for reducing hours then as much notice as possible, if it's a resignation then just whatever her contractual notice period is.
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  • StevenB12
    StevenB12 Posts: 269
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    As above it would depend on the company policy. 

    Where I work I know that one of the office staff didn't return after maternity as she decided to stay at home, and although our policy is you have to return and on general give a month's notice, they overlooked this due to her time at the company which was about 10 years. 

    In general its best to not burn bridges, however I myself have done this and its not something I really look back on. If she wants to leave it would definitely be best to at least have the conversation with her manager and at least give some form of notice, as a lot of places will accept notice even if you don't work it. She may also not have to pay back her enhanced pay if she has any regular holiday time remaining as this can offset the balance. 

    But again, depends on the company.
  • ReadingTim
    ReadingTim Posts: 3,970
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    The OP's partner's company has put in place this policy to prevent exactly what the OP is proposing - that someone takes the full package of maternity benefits with no intention of returning.  

    Therefore there are no clever tricks or shortcuts - the OP should follow the policy to the letter, because the company sure as anything will when it comes to either not paying out, or reclaiming monies they now feel are due.  Furthermore, irrespective of what the line manager may say, HR may take a different view, enforcing the policy more rigidly than the line manager might.  
  • There are lots of well paid sectors of the economy that require many years of employment references.

    "Handed in notice immediately after our very generous maternity pay ended" isn't going to look good. 

    I'd explore the part time option, see how it goes and then decide on new jobs or not working etc. 

    Even if they take a few years off work, a good reference from last job will be useful later.

    I kinda say this from experience ;)
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