Can I return to my original hours after maternity leave?

I have returned to work after maternity leave in an agreed deal to come back earlier than initially intended. They offered me a three-day-a-week job role, a new role in the company which was different from what I was doing. I would like to go back to four days and eventually full time soon and have requested this twice, but so far this has been denied. I have been back for six months. What are my rights? I have assumed the agreement was temporary and I was never told any different.




To change contractual hours a new contract must be issued or at least an amendment to contract. If it was a permanent change then it is likely that there will have been a new contract issued.

If the change was agreed under flexible working (an application was made and the change agreed by both parties) then you will be able to make a request to increase your hours after 12 months. If it wasn’t done under flexible working then you are able to make an application to change your hours under flexible working (as long as you have 26 weeks continuous service.)

It seems there has been a misunderstanding between employee and employer and I would advise that  the issue is raised and discussed between your manager and HR. You could even look at raising a grievance, and I would advise this is done informally to start with.

If no success with the above, you can apply for other full-time roles within the company.

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