What happens if you don’t return to work after maternity?

If an employee does not return to work after maternity leave, the specific consequences or implications can depend on various factors, including the terms of their employment contract, applicable laws, and the policies of their employer. Here are some general points to consider:

  1. Employment contract: Review your employment contract or any relevant agreements you have with your employer. It may outline specific obligations or conditions related to returning to work after maternity leave. Failure to comply with contractual obligations could potentially lead to legal or financial consequences.
  2. Notice period: If you decide not to return to work, you may need to provide notice to your employer in accordance with your employment contract or relevant laws. Failing to provide proper notice could affect your entitlements or future employment prospects.
  3. Repayment obligations: Some employers may have policies that require employees to repay any paid maternity leave or benefits received if they don’t return to work or fulfill certain conditions. It’s important to understand whether such repayment obligations exist and the terms associated with them.
  4. Impact on entitlements: Not returning to work after maternity leave may have implications for other employment benefits or entitlements, such as accrued leave, superannuation (retirement savings), or future promotion opportunities. Employers may have policies or guidelines regarding the impact on these benefits in case of non-return.
  5. Legal protections: In Australia, employees are generally protected from discrimination or adverse treatment due to pregnancy or taking maternity leave. However, it’s important to be aware of your rights and any potential legal obligations that may apply in your specific situation.

It is recommended to consult with your employer’s human resources department or seek legal advice to understand your specific rights, obligations, and potential consequences in the event you decide not to return to work after maternity leave.