I started talking to HR about my return to work quite early into my maternity leave because I had previously been told by a colleague that they will try to brush me aside and I will have to fight to get the position I wanted.
They firstly wanted me to go on a shift pattern, which was impossible as my husband works away and our families are over 200 miles away. They then said I was to be put in a department working alone( the working environment was not a safe one alone) they then found me a great job where I could start early and finish to collect my daughter from nursery at midday but then changed their minds. I had to work the same hours as the rest of the department although this would mean working half an hour into the afternoon and then having to pay for a morning and afternoon session at nursery, my pay didn’t cover this. I then found a job in the organisation that would have fitted around my daughter but they refused to allow me to leave my department.
A friend in a different area had returned to work and could chose the hours she worked, they refused to let me do this.
The last straw came when they suggested a career break but I would have to complete a number of training days in order for me to do this. My daughter was 9 months old and I was breast feeding her at this time. I explained this and that my husband was away. They then suggested I send my daughter to live with my family 200 miles away for a while! I handed my notice in and returned all my maternity pay.
I still feel cross about the way I was treated. And in hindsight I could have taken them to a tribunal but they had taken enough away from my daughters first few months and I didn’t want them to take any more.