Returning to work – for mothers
It is now much more common for women to return to work after maternity leave. Many women find that they not only need the financial support a job provides, but also daily social interaction with adults. Many also return to work in order to continue with their chosen career.
Here (and in the pages linked below), we provide some essential guidance for mothers returning to work.
Know your rights
Under the Maternity Protection Act, on their return to work after maternity leave, women should be treated as if they had been in work over those 26 or 42 weeks.
Both parents are also entitled to 14 weeks’ unpaid parental leave for each child up to eight years old. If you have more than one child, this is usually limited to 14 weeks taken over 12 months. Normally the 14 weeks is broken into one or two blocks of time, but some employers allow staff to break it down into days or even hours.
Flexible working options are very dependent on your career area but over the last decade employers have become less rigid.
It’s worth asking about flexible working. In a difficult economic environment, it might just suit your employer to offer flexible options that result in a lower payroll.
Common flexible working options include:
- Starting late or finishing early in order to do the school run
- Working 3 or 4 rather than 5 days a week
- Job-sharing and ‘term time’ – extended leave from work to coincide with school holidays
If your current employer is not flexible, it may be worth looking for another job with more flexibility or a company that has family-friendly policies.
Click here to find out about being aware of your transferable skills and brushing up on skills to help you find a new role.
Read more about finding new ways of working here.