If a pregnant employee is employed to do suitable alternative work throughout her pregnancy, is her right to return to work after maternity leave the right to return to this job or to her normal position?
An employee has the right to return to her normal position after maternity leave, rather than the suitable alternative work that she was given during her pregnancy. In most cases the suitable alternative work will have been offered during pregnancy to avoid any health and safety risks to her in carrying out her normal job. Alternatively, in the absence of any health and safety risks, the employee may have been given suitable alternative work through mutual agreement, where, for example, she has asked for lighter duties. However, this will not have the effect of changing her contract permanently (unless such a permanent change was specifically agreed), and she will remain entitled to return to her normal position on the same terms and conditions, after her maternity leave.