Rights during OML
Contract of employment continues, entitled to benefit of terms and conditions of employment which would have applied if not absent (except remuneration). If employer denies her these benefits the he will be in breach and it will be discriminatory if based on fact of pregnancy. This was seen in the Taxi number Manchester case of 1998
Returning to work after OML
She returns to work at the beginning of the 27th week, no notice is needed.
If she wants to return before the end of the 26th week, she must give 28 days notice, if she fails her employer can postpone her return period so as to secure 28 days notice but cannot extend it beyond the 26 week period. NB if employer not given notice of end date of OML then will not be able to prevent her returning early.
Right to return
Entitled to return to work to the job in which she was employed before her absence with her seniority, pension rights and similar rights, and terms and conditions which are no less favourable than before.her OML. It also counts towards her period of continuous employment.
Failure to return after OML
Will not terminate contract of employment, court will look at intention of employee. If she intended not to return then they will interpret her act as terminating the contract. Failing any intention, employers will need to discover the reason for a late return before taking action. Failure to treat her the same as any other late returner could lead to discrimination or UD.
Employer must not let a woman return to work within the 2 week period from childbirth, it is a criminal offence.
If at the start of the 14th week before EWC, a woman has completed 26 weeks continuous employment, she will be entitled to AML. It will commence on the day after the last day of OML and continue for up to 26 weeks. She does not have to tell her employer her intention to take this when she notifies him of her OML.