Returning to work
Just wanted to see what other mums thought of my situation.
I am due back to work in 5 weeks. My daughter is 1 in 7 weeks. My current employer has said that I would have to take a demotion to return to work on part time hours? I know this isn't right as ACAS have advised me.
I have viewed a nursery that I absolutely love for my daughter and I know she will get on fine. My problem is, do I just bite my tongue and go back full time or do I fight for my part time hours?
Me and my husband have discussed trying for baby number 2 which would mean that if I concieved as quickly this time as I did with my daughter (4 weeks) I could receive more maternity pay and also have my daughter back at home with me.
I have always wanted both babies close together, but I guess now that it could be a realisty I am getting nervous about it. I am worried that I haven't spent enough time with my daughter as an only child.
Has anyone else had a similar situation? Or could offer advice on having baby number 2 so close to their first
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Here are my survival tips for returning to work:
1.Before maternity leave, discuss how you would like to be kept in the loop during your time away.
2.Keep close to someone on the inside track – this way you may be first to know about any restructures;
3.Use your keep-in-touch days;
4.If you think that you have been subjected to discriminatory treatment, seek legal advice as soon as possible as a strict three month time limit applies
5.If the worst scenario happens, do you want to go back? If you don’t, do you have to pay back your maternity pay? Is the relationship salvageable? You may be hurt when trusted colleagues let you down but accepting their failures may be the best way to get back in the workplace;
6.Negotiate an exit – a specialist employment lawyer can take the lead on the negotiations for you to ensure that the amount you are offered is maximised and that the terms offered are fair and do not disadvantage you;
7.Linked to this, do you want another baby soonish? It is important – you need to be in your job for around 9 months before the baby is due to be eligible for SMP and often longer if your employer offered enhanced maternity benefits. You also won’t have the right to make a flexible working request until you have been employed for 6 months.
8.Be realistic about your flexible working request – informally map out a proposal and run it by your boss and don’t ask for what you won’t get – 2 days in the office: 2 at home won’t work if you have a client facing role; offer solutions to avoid employer’s anxieties;
9.Keep some holiday back for when you have an inevitable child care crisis – your kids will be sick A LOT during their first winter in childcare
10.Remember that your partner will have parental leave rights too – shared parental leave, time off for dependents, flexible working requests are not an exclusive female/ birth parent domain.