We have an employee who wishes to return to work 2 weeks after her baby is born. How soon can an employee return to work after birth? Can we require her to provide us with a medical certificate from her doctor confirming her fitness to return to work?
There is no law or rule about how soon an employee can return to work after giving birth.
Employees on unpaid parental leave can shorten their leave period if their employer agrees. If an employee wants to shorten their parental leave period, they can come to an agreement with their employer to do so. However, if the employer does not agree, the employee has to return to work on the planned date.
As this process depends on employer discretion, it is likely that employers can impose reasonable conditions on the employee’s return, like requiring the employee to provide a medical certificate stating they are fit to return to work. However, it is important that employers ensure that any conditions or requirements they impose are not unreasonable or discriminatory.