Can an Employer Waive the Eight Weeks’ Notice Requirement to Return to Work Early from Maternity Leave?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 7 August 2023
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Maternity Leave

An employee who is seeking to return to work before the end of her additional maternity leave (AML) must give the employer at least eight weeks’ notice of her intention to return early.

However, it is for the employer to decide whether it wishes to enforce the eight-week notice requirement if the employee attempts to return to work earlier than the end of her AML period. There is nothing to prevent an employer from agreeing to the employee’s early return to work on less than eight weeks’ notice, if that is mutually convenient. The employee is not permitted, however, to insist on it.

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 07/08/2023

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.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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