I understand that an employee is eligible to take 62 weeks of paternity leave for the birth of their child, but the employee has said they are only taking a couple weeks, then turns into a few months then only 32 weeks, but now its looking like the whole time.
My questions is what if an employee says they have been going to school during their parental leave to further their career, and asked us to hire them in a different position. We do not have the position they want available, nor do we have the capacity to train this employee in a completely different role. The employee hasn’t made it clear if they plan to return to their previous role after paternity leave. Their about half way through right now. Do they have an obligation to return after taking parental leave? If we know this employee is looking for other work in the area they are doing training, do we have an obligation to keep their position open?
From our payroll expert, Alan McEwan. Hope this helps.
Employees do not have an obligation to return to work. Right up to the end of the leave period, the employer must be prepared to return the person to their prior job or a comparable one. However, that’s not an absolute requirement. If for example, due to Covid disruptions, that position no longer exists, there may be nothing that the employer can do in practice to return the employee to their former employment. In other word, you don’t get additional rights being on maternity or parental leave. If the job has disappeared for reasons that are not related to the leave (and you’d better be able to justify this), the leave doesn’t create additional entitlements.