flex is key

Flexibility key to supporting working parents

After Kate Hudson had her first baby, she was wary about returning to work, however BHP's Parental Leave Network eased all her worries.

“I had my daughter in June 2016, when the Parental Leave Network was in it’s infancy, however I attended a few sessions during my parental leave. It was a great opportunity to come back into the office with my daughter, stay updated on business information and connect with others who were also on leave or about to start,” Kate said.

After returning to work in 2018, Kate fell pregnant again in 2019 and attended more sessions while still in the office, ensuring she felt prepared.

“The Parental Leave Network has been such a great space for asking questions, finding forms or information and sharing the journey of parenthood with others who are also in the same boat.”

While on leave, Kate’s supervisor kept her informed of upcoming team days, milestone events and social functions. She was also informed of any team changes – integral to having that ongoing connection.

“I arranged my Keep in Touch days and a training schedule was put together for my return to work. It was a challenge getting into the new routine and sorting all the logistics with kids and work, but I absolutely love being back,” Kate said.

BHP’s flexible work options have also been crucial for her ability to return to work last year.

“I’m so grateful to the business for our flexi work arrangements. It wouldn’t be possible for our family to logistically arrange care for our children and both be able to fulfil full time roles, so I feel very fortunate,” Kate said.

“After I returned to work after my son was born, my husband has gone on parental leave. The bond he shares with our kids is amazing – doing things like school drop offs and picks ups with our daughter, as well as spending more time with them is something he'll always look back on. Dan jumped at the opportunity to share the parental leave with our son.

“We always say you never get this time back and when we tell our friends or people we meet that we shared parental leave they are amazed at the opportunity we had!” Kate said.

Kate’s husband, Dan, echoed Kate’s thoughts.

“I feel thankful to work for a company that provides the opportunity for parental leave for us both, as well as my leadership team that not only supported, but even encouraged me to take that leave. I’ve enjoyed every minute (barring an overturned trolley at the shops), spending such quality time with Jedd and Lola is something I will always be grateful for,” Dan said.

Kate is pleased working for BHP means she can balance her family and work life so effectively.

“Being a working mum is important to me – I have job satisfaction, independence, financial security and structure in our family routine. After being with the business for ten years this year, I really appreciate working for a company that has flexible options available and programs in place for parental leave,” Kate added.

“I feel BHP understands the importance of flexible work arrangements, especially upon returning to work from parental leave, for retention of its employees. A few short years of flexi work while the kids are little goes a long way in the big picture of mutually beneficial lifetime employment,” Kate said.