Maternity: Right to Return and Cover

Most employees returning from maternity leave will be entitled to return to the same job as before their absence, but there will be exceptions. In all cases, however, their seniority, pension and similar rights should remain as they would have been if they had not been absent, and their terms and conditions on return should not be less favourable. If you have recruited a replacement employee to cover maternity leave, you may want to dismiss them when your original employee returns. Most maternity cover employees will not have the two years’ service needed to claim unfair dismissal but you should be alert to other potential issues, such as the right of fixed-term employees to be informed of available vacancies.

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