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Planning a return to work

Returning to work can be daunting but with the right support, most doctors make a smooth transition back to working life.

“My supervisor and colleagues were really nice and understanding … and eased me in slowly and gave lots of moral support which helped me regain my confidence.

Maternity Leave

If you are taking maternity leave, your expected return date is based on 52 weeks' paid and unpaid leave entitlement under the NHS Scheme. The length of any period of accrued leave that has been agreed upon may be taken following the end of the formal maternity leave period5.

If you plan on returning to work before the expected return date, you will need to give your Trust at least 28 days' notice5.

Sick leave

If you are considering a return to work after a period of ill health, you should discuss this with your GP or specialist who may also be able to suggest changes to assist your return.

You should also contact Occupational Health to assess your fitness to practice and also discuss what additional support or adaptations you may need (e.g. reduced working hours, no on-call, no nights).


If you are returning from an OOP, you must ensure that your TPD is aware of your anticipated date of return to secure re-entry to the programme. Training placements will depend on availability and therefore it is important you give at least 6 months' notice of your return.