It's not often you get to hear from a professional couple who have both taken parental leave. In this special podcast we interview Michael Brosnan, Manager at Deloitte, and Annaliese Van Riet, People and Culture Leader, about their experience of becoming new parents and how Deloitte's parental policies have made achieving a balance between work and family easier following the birth of their son Louis ten months ago.
Deloitte’s leading parental leave policy is non-gendered, meaning that Michael as a father was able to take the full parental leave on offer. Deloitte currently offers 18 weeks paid leave to all new parents. That leave can be taken over three years, broken up in a range of flexible ways to suit each family’s unique needs. For Michael and Annaliese, the decision to share parental leave was easy.
“We didn’t really have too many doubts about whether I’d take it,” explains Michael. “It’s very common [at Deloitte] these days. Usually when a child gets announced or someone has a baby, it’s more a question of when, not if. For us, it wasn’t a question of whether I’d do it – it was how we would do it, and what worked best for us.”
Michael taking the parental leave in turn allowed Annaliese the freedom she needed at that point in her own career path. Taking a redundancy just prior to their baby’s birth, Annaliese then went on to start her own HR consultancy while Michael took his share of leave.
“I’ve felt so supported along the whole way,” Annaliese says. “I could [get] straight into full capacity at work, and I felt immediate relief from carrying that mental load. I was able to throw myself into work – get to know new clients and new workplaces – without feeling torn between work and home. Which was the thing that was really worrying me – how was I going to focus on something so new – a new step in my career – while still juggling the unknown of managing a baby and work? So for me, it was a relief – knowing Michael was here full time for eight weeks.”
Their story demonstrates the importance of flexible and inclusive parental leave policies, like those implemented at Deloitte, for both the employee and the business.
Listen to the Michael and Annaliese share their full story in the podcast below.
Check out more of the Family Friendly Workplaces podcast series here.