Shared Parental Leave [SPL] legislation came into force in April 2015. The legislation,...read more
Felicity Robertson, Talent Acquisition Strategy Manager at Azets took a career break after having a baby. In this blog, she discusses how she found returning to work and how Azets supported her.
It can be really daunting going back to work after having a baby. As someone who could barely navigate a morning pre-baby, the thought of getting a small, helpless person ready as well as myself before 7.45am would’ve seemed unfathomable to the me of the past. However, I’ve been really lucky as my return to work has been made easy by Azets and my support network.
My situation is quite unique in that I had been contracting before having a baby and therefore had no employer to return to. This meant that when the time came for me to ‘return to work’ I had to seek out a new role and hope that I’d find a family focused organisation. I had a strict criteria of finding a place that was understanding, flexible and could see beyond the extended maternity leave (translates as gap on CV to recruiters) that I’d taken. I was anxious about how my CV would be perceived, would hiring managers think I was demanding for wanting a reduced working week? Would people be understanding that I’d taken 15 months out? Would my skills still be relevant?
One of the many fantastic things about working at Azets is the understanding that not one size fits all when it comes to working hours. I was upfront from the start that I wanted to work a reduced working week to allow me to spend time with my daughter and this was never questioned and there was never a conversation trying to coax me in to committing to more hours. There’s also a brilliant flexible working policy in place that allows employees to work any hours between 7am-7pm so long as they are able to provide the level of service the customer needs. This means that some days I can log on at 8am and pick my daughter up from nursery at 4.30pm. Other days I may start a bit later and work when she’s gone to sleep in the evening.
Whilst some employers, particularly, pre-pandemic may have judged me for having 15 months out, I found my manager at Azets to be supportive. Most importantly, she was interested in the work I had done and not my personal reasons for having time away from work. I found this really refreshing as it was something I felt self-conscious about but I also knew I could add value to the company.
Aside from the flexible working, my role is remote and the majority of employees at Azets are able to work a hybrid model. I know that I’m trusted to do my job, I have weekly calls with my manager and she’s there for any questions I may have. She understands that sometimes I might get a call from nursery to say my daughter’s not well and I’m trusted to get the work done and make it work around me.
I’m also impressed by the general attitude to family at Azets, the benefits are family friendly. For example you can access a 24/7 GP not just for yourself, but for your family too. There’s also things that cater for the worst scenario such as life assurance and a will writing service. There’s no jargon or complexity in accessing the benefits, they are accessible to all.
This leads me to my favourite thing about Azets, I regularly see emails flying round saying their daughter is doing a sponsored tap dance, their son’s school is doing a raffle etc and I think this shows that Azets isn’t just an employer, it’s an extended family where people feel comfortable and at home.