Can I go back to full time if hours were reduced informally during maternity leave?

If I went part-time following maternity leave, am I entitled to my full time job back at some point? I was working part-time hours during shared parental leave and when my maternity leave ended we just carried on this arrangement without a formal agreement. Now I feel awkward asking for more hours – but I wanted to know if I had a right to these or not?


If there was no formal agreement either way and you have been working these hours since last Spring, it may be assumed that your contract had been changed by custom and practice; i.e. you have been doing these new hours for quite some time and these are now your new contractual hours.

However, if you were to approach your manager to discuss increasing your hours again on the basis that you assumed the decrease in hours was only temporary, your manager would be well advised to at least seriously consider this request to avoid appearing to have discriminated against you or put you at a detriment due to your having taken maternity leave.  In practice, an amicable conversation would be my advised starting point.

*Lucy Flynn assisted in answering this question.

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