If an employee does not intend to return to work after maternity leave are they required to give notice?

An employee on maternity leave who does not intend to return to work is still required to give notice to terminate their contract of employment. They must give whichever is the greater of their contractual notice or statutory minimum notice. In accordance with s.86(2) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the statutory minimum notice period on resignation is not less than one week, but the employee's contract of employment may provide for a greater notice period to be given, for example one month. Notice should be given so that it expires not later than the day before the employee's due date of return from maternity leave.