Under the maternity provisions can an employee return to work at the end of ordinary maternity leave without giving notice?

No. If an employee wishes to take only 26 weeks' ordinary maternity leave, for example because they want to guarantee their right to return to the same job, they must give the employer eight weeks' notice of their return to work.

Employees do not need to give notice of their return to work if they return on the day after the end of their additional maternity leave, which is a period of 52 weeks.