Tips for handling a women returner’s request to work shorter hours

· Understand the legal requirements - a woman returning to work after maternity leave has a right to request shorter hours or part-time work. Employers can refuse only if there are sound business reasons

· Ask why they have made a request to return part-time - and what hours they are available to work.

· Look carefully at the job - and see if it could be filled on a part-time basis

· Search for new options - if there is no way the job can be filled part time, look at more creative options, such as job-sharing or perhaps ask the person to consider full-time for a period or telework

· Remember it’s a win-win situation - it is in the interest of both parties to continue the employment relationship.