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The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1993

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Right to return to work

20.—(1) An employee who—

(a)has the right conferred by Article 14; and

(b)has, at the beginning of the eleventh week before the expected week of childbirth, been continuously employed for a period of not less than two years,

shall also have the right to return to work at any time during the period beginning at the end of her maternity leave period and ending twenty-nine weeks after the beginning of the week in which childbirth occurs.

(2) An employee’s right to return to work under this Article is the right to return to work with the person who was her employer before the end of her maternity leave period, or (where appropriate) his successor, in the job in which she was then employed—

(a)on terms and conditions as to remuneration not less favourable than those which would have been applicable to her had she not been absent from work at any time since the commencement of her maternity leave period;

(b)with her seniority, pension rights and similar rights as they would have been if the period or periods of her employment prior to the end of her maternity leave period were continuous with her employment following her return to work (but subject to the requirements of paragraph 5 of Schedule 5 to the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (credit for the period of absence in certain cases)); and

(c)otherwise on terms and conditions no less favourable than those which would have been applicable to her had she not been absent from work after the end of her maternity leave period.

(3) The Department may by order vary the period of two years specified in paragraph (1) or that period as so varied.

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