When you go back to work after ordinary maternity leave you have the right to return to exactly the same job that you were in before you went on maternity leave. When you return after additional maternity leave your employer must give you back the same job or only if that is not reasonably practicable, a suitable job on very similar terms and conditions.
You do not need to give any notice of return if you are going back to work at the end of maternity leave. You simply go to work on the day that you are due back:
If you are entitled to OML you will be due back to the
work on the day after the end of the 26 week period.
If you are entitled to AML you will be due back to work on the day after the 52 week period.
If you want to return to work before the end of your maternity leave, you must give your employer at least 28 days' notice of the date you will be returning. If you do not give this notice and just turn up at work before the end of your maternity leave, your employer can send you away for up to 28 days or until the end of your leave, whichever is earlier.
Note: if you are entitled to AML but only wish to take OML you must give 28 days notice of your return as you are in fact returning early.
The law does not allow you to work for two weeks after childbirth and this period is known as Compulsory Maternity Leave. You will not be allowed to return to work during this time.