Consider an employee's request to return from maternity leave on a part-time basis

Key points

  • It often happens that an employee who has had a baby will ask her employer for a move from full-time working to part-time working to fit her working life around caring for her child.
  • Although there is no automatic right for an employee to switch from full-time to part-time working on request, a refusal without justification to allow an employee returning from maternity leave to move from full-time to part-time working is likely to constitute indirect sex discrimination.
  • The employee is likely to qualify for the statutory right to request flexible working, in which case the employer should ensure that it handles the request in a reasonable manner and notifies the employee of its decision within the statutory time frame.

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