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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Is anywhere mentioned in employment law whether when an employee

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Is anywhere mentioned in employment law whether when an employee returns to work after being on maternity cover, is she entitled to sit in the same seat?
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Just to clarify - you had a job but were then moved to cover someone's maternity and are now returning to you original role?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
After maternity cover am I entitled to return to the same desk if my employer decides to keep the temp worker?
Sorry can you please answer my question above - were you the one providing maternity cover and are now trying to return to your original role?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm returning to work soon but just wanted to clarify whether if my employers were to keep the individual who covered me who is currently sitting at my desk, will I need to change desks or am I obliged to return to where I was when I went on maternity leave?
Are you returning to exactly the same job? Will everything esle, apart from your desk, remain the same?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, but my main concern is if I will be able to sit at the same desk which I've got used to of if I will be seated in another department to conduct the same duties as before
How long were you at the old desk for and is there anything in your contract that says you are entitled to sit at that desk?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Good question.. I don't think there is. But surely one of the rwquirements for being on maternity you are obliged to return to the same position/role which surely could entail the desk?
You would certainly expect to return to the same role and duties, unless this was not guaranteed when you agreed to go on maternity cover. However, returning to the same job does not automatically mean that you will also return to the same desk. There is nothing specific in employment law that says this is the case and that a desk is directly linked to a job description. In fact a desk is just a desk and it is rare that it would belong to an employee outright, unless they can show that they have worked on it for such a long period of time that it has become an implied contractual term that it is their desk and that they have contractual rights over it. However, for this to happen it must have been made clear over a number of years that the employer was happy for them to treat this desk as theirs and that it was communicated to them that they can expect to have that desk indefinitely. This would be rather rare. So there is nothing specific you can rely on to argue that you need to be allowed to return to the exact same desk you occupied before going on maternity cover and the main issue here is whether you are allowed to return to the same position and job that you did, regardless of what des you occupy.

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