22nd June 2001 at 01:00
A teacher about to return from maternity leave has asked to switch to part-time teaching. This would cause enormous problems for us and seriously harm the educational prospects of pupils. Can we refuse?

You can, but she might take her case to an employment tribunal.

The Green Book, which deals with local government employment, was revised in December 2000 to cover the issue.

The relevant circular stated: "Authorities should consider the full range of flexible working arangements and support facilities for employees returning to work."

There is a strong disposition in favour of meeting the needs of mothers returning to work, without it being an absolute legal requirement. If you want to gauge an employer's chances of success, consider the job-share headship judgment.

Every case is judged on its merits, but you need a good case. If you are an LEA school, you will also need the authority's backing and that may not be easy to get.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now