Hi, my name is Gemma and I recently returned back to work from maternity leave.
My partner and I decided to take advantage of the shared maternity/ paternity scheme that Aviva offered last year. I took the first 6 months off, whilst then my husband took the following 4 months off on paternity leave to be with our daughter.
It was a great opportunity as we both got the chance to spend quality time with her as we knew we would never get this time back!
When I came back to work I mentioned that I wanted some flexibility with the hours I worked, as I wanted to spend at least one day every fortnight being actively present in the development of my daughter.
Aviva were very supportive of this request and with the support of my team and manager we made this happen.
I consider that having my husband off whilst I came back to work, took a considerable amount of worry and stress away from me, as I was able to fully focus on my job and get used to work life again.
Since the announcement last November from Aviva on the increase of time for the shared maternity/ paternity policy agreement, it has made me think how else could Aviva support staff in the transition back to work, as we should be able to offer so much more than just an amended policy.
I have since started a working group with the coaching and people function to try and set up a maternity/ paternity transition coaching service for staff going off and coming back to the workplace. Offering support and guidance back into the world of work.
This not allows us to support our people from a policy perspective but from a human/ family perspective too. The aim of the coaching program is to help employees handle the practical and emotional aspects of a parent transition, regardless if this is your first, second or third child in a way it also enables the parent to develop in their careers post maternity or paternity.
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