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NHS Career breaks - Can anyone help??

Hi all,
My daughter is 10 months old and I was supposed to be returing to work in a couple of months but have decided on a "career break" for a couple of years. The NHS offer these and hold your job open.
I have been told (By my manager who doesn't really know her arse from her elbow!) that I still have to return to work for the 3 months before starting my break.
If I was to leave the NHS then I would be expected to return for 3 months or pay back my maternity pay but surely as I'm only taking a career break I'm still employed by the NHS??
Head office have just said "Talk to your manager"!!

Any HR bods out there that can advise?


  • from what i understand this would be because you have to pay back maternity pay or do 3 months with 15 months of starting materinty leave i think x
  • I think you do need to get an answer from HR as they can answer for definate, but I don't think that you will have to return for 3 months as, as you say you are still employed by the NHS when you are on your career break. If you didn't return to the NHS for 3 months after your career break they could then ask you to pay back your mat pay.
  • don't know about nhs specifically, but my govt dept rule is that you can go on a career break (if agreed) without having to come back first. surely head office should know what their rules are?!!!
  • Thanks all for your replys
    I'm going into work next week for a meeting so I'll see what happens!
    My manager has also told me (unofficially) that if I wanted to actually leave my job I could just go to my doctors and try and blag a 3 month sick note to cover me not having to return for 3 months!!! And I work for the NHS!!! Great hey!!!
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