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After nine months’ maternity leave I returned back to the same place of employment. I requested to come back part time (one less day per week). It was refused on the basis that the role required I be at work 5 days per week. They offered me another job role that I could do 4 days a week, which I accepted. However, this other job (that I am still doing) was offered to me with a lower salary (as well as being pro rata). I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to give me the same terms & conditions as before I left for maternity leave, and if this is supposed to include ‘same salary’ also? I had a car allowance and understood that this was not part of the new job, so naturally this was removed, but they also lowered my salary in line with the lesser role (as the new job title did not pay as well)… Is this allowed?
The starting point is that after maternity leave an employee is generally entitled to return to work to the same job, on the same terms and conditions as if she had been absent.
However, I understand that you made a request to return to work, but on a part-time basis, which was refused. Another role was offered which was part time and different to the role that you were undertaking prior to your maternity leave.
Accordingly, as this is a completely different role that you were undertaking prior to your maternity leave then the terms and conditions of that role can be different to the role that you were undertaking prior to maternity leave. Furthermore, the role was offered at your request rather than having been imposed on you. In the circumstances,
the new role that has been offered, and which you accepted can be paid at a lower salary.