Managing return to work | Pay, Promotion, Reviews, Breaks and Benefits

If an employee resigns during her maternity leave, she must give the notice set out in her contract. 

This does not apply if she can show that she resigned because of your behaviour if this amounts to a serious breach of her contract, such as discriminatory treatment. If she resigns in these circumstances, and claims constructive dismissal, she can resign either with notice or without giving notice.

The law is not clear on an employee’s entitlement to notice pay whilst on maternity leave. In this instance we suggest taking legal advice unless you intend to pay full notice pay.

Yes, a woman on maternity leave must give the notice set out in her employment contract, just as if she were not on maternity leave. 

Yes, if other employees are given a pay rise, or she would have received a pay rise if she had not taken maternity leave. It would be maternity discrimination to refuse to give her a pay rise because she has been on maternity leave.  

Yes. You must not treat her unfavourably because you think she is pregnant.  If you treat her unfavourably or prevent her from returning to work, this is pregnancy discrimination.

If she is pregnant, she is entitled to a further period of maternity leave and she may qualify for statutory maternity pay or any contractual maternity pay for her next baby if she meets the normal qualifying conditions. You must calculate her entitlement to statutory maternity pay. If she is not entitled to statutory maternity pay you must give her form SMP1 so that she can claim maternity allowance.

Most or all of the statutory maternity pay you pay can be reclaimed from HM Revenue & Customs.

Last updated: 13 May 2016