I have had 36 weeks maternity leave and was working full time when I left. Work have agreed verbally and in email that I am able to go back three days a week so part time. I have chased them multiple times for my new contract to reflect my new hours/salary and they say it’s on the way, but I am due back next week. They have tried to get me to change my job etc for when I go back which I have said no to and I feel they are dragging their heels. Do I have to return to work if I still haven’t got a contract to check?
A contract can exist between you and your employer on exchange of emails, but much depends on the clarity of what was exchanged and agreed to, by whom and when.
I would chase your employer up again, going over what was agreed in the email. If you have a HR department I would call and email them too.
I would also remind them that you return to work date is getting closer and you expect a contract before then. They do have up to four weeks to issue a new contract/ statement of terms and conditions, within four weeks of starting the role. But I would ask that one is issued before so you can ensure you have suitable childcare arranged.