We have an employee who is due to return to work from maternity leave. She will be returning to the same role, same duties, pay, etc. as before. The only one change that has occurred during her maternity leave is that of her work office. Prior to her maternity leave she had her own office. This office has now been assigned to one of her colleagues and we are planning on assigning her a different office, which she will be required to share with one/two other colleagues. Is there a risk that would be viewed as a change to less favourable terms and conditions of employment? There is a flexibility clause in her contract regarding work location.

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 2 April 2013
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

The employee will generally be entitled to return to the "same job in which she was employed before her absence".

What is meant by the "job in which she was employed before her absence" was considered by the EAT in Blundell v Governing Body of St Andrew's Catholic Primary School UKEAT/0329/06. The EAT held that the purpose of the protection of the statutory regulations was to "provide that a returnee comes back to a work situation as near as possible to that she left", so as to avoid adding to the "burdens that will inevitably exist because she has a very young infant making new demands upon her".

For these purposes, the "job" was defined as "the nature of the work which she is employed to

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Arthur Cox. Contact telephone number is +44 28 9026 2673 or email rosemary.lundy@arthurcox.com

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