Returning to work after child birth
Making the transition from full- time motherhood to striking the right balance between home and work life can be a significant challenge for families.
With over 80% of women working prior to having children and 75% of all mothers returning to work after childbirth it is not surprising that there is an ever increasing demand for quality childcare.
The following information is aimed at guiding you through full or part-time childcare options. Should you have any questions which are not covered by the web site or by the suggested links to other sites please contact your local Casterbridge Nursery or the Support Office on 020 7307 1920 and we will be happy to assist you.
When should I return to work?
As a permanent employee you have the right to 26 weeks of ‘Ordinary Maternity Leave’ and a further 26 weeks of ‘Additional Maternity Leave.’ You may be entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for up to 39 weeks. It is compulsory to have a minimum of 2 weeks maternity leave after giving birth or 4 weeks if you are a factory worker. You do not have to return to work in order to qualify for SMP.
If you stay off work after your maternity leave period you will lose your automatic right to return to work. You should accrue annual leave whilst on maternity leave so taking annual leave to extend the period of time you spend off work may be something to consider if you want to extend your maternity leave without loosing the right to return to work.
You are required to give your employer eight weeks notice of the date that you intend to return to work if it is not at the end of your Ordinary Maternity Leave.
When you return to work after maternity leave you have the right to return to your previous job with the same terms and conditions unless it is not reasonably practicable, in which case you must be offered a suitable alternative.
You may wish to consider returning to work on a part-time or flexible basis and you have the right to request this of your employer. Your employer can only refuse if they can demonstrate that the job cannot be effectively performed in this way.
The decision regarding when to return to work after maternity leave is entirely personal and will depend on you, your child, your family and your financial situation.
Further information about maternity leave and the level of SMP you will receive can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/workingparents
Casterbridge nurseries usually care for children aged 3 months and over. If you wish to continue breast feeding you will need to express milk and freeze it so that the nursery team can administer it from a bottle. If you are using formula milk you will be required to provide this. Most of our nurseries supply nappies.
There are various types of childcare options available and finding a solution that is right for you, your child and family will make returning to work less stressful.
The most common options are:
- Au pairs
- Family or friends
- Playgroup or a crèche.
- Quality of care, facilities and equipment
- Flexibility, including sessions offered and opening hours
- Opportunities for social interaction for your child and you
- Continuity of care
- Variety and range of equipment and learning opportunities
- Government regulations.
There are various ways in which the government and your employer can assist you with the cost of childcare, whether or not you are returning to work. Please see Childcare Funding for more information.