Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Quality Time

On 1st July 2018 my employer, CA Technologies issued an enhanced parental leave policy. Any potential male parent would be eligible for 12 weeks leave for the birth of a child, to be taken any time in the first year. This was outstanding news! I shared with my wife when I returned home from work that evening but she did not believe me until reading an article on recruitment portal Monster. The original plan had been to take the mandatory two weeks and add a week holiday afterwards to give me a total of three weeks and perhaps take another week holiday after returning to work. Our plans changed, I informed my managers and HR of my decision to make the most of this generous new policy. Little did I know I would be one of only a handful of employees to benefit.

A mere ten days later, as I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed over breakfast news had broken overnight. Broadcom was to acquire CA Technologies in a deal reportedly worth $19 billion. There may be a slight change to our plans. I went into work that day wondering what the future would hold. We had happened to have a hospital appointment the day before so I had not been in the office to learn anything from the rumour mill on this big tech deal. It was almost a year to the day when there had been a rumour in the market place that we were to be acquired by BMC. This time around it was happening - the company I worked for had been sold to a global semiconductor business.

Originally I was going to defer my leave until January but with these change of circumstances, I had to take the leave as soon as possible having been advised by Broadcom HR that in January the change in the new employment contract would mean only two weeks statutory leave would be available. While perhaps my hand was forced, I got to enjoy the first twelve weeks with my son Logan and that is something you cannot put a price on. I am probably only two or three guys in the office able to make the most of this policy change. The policy did not even last a full calendar year being disbanded on 31st May 2019. Other firms offer generous paternity leave, such as Microsoft with six weeks but some firms even offer unlimited leave (with a small portion unpaid) but it is refreshing to see the role of fatherhood being taken so seriously in the workplace. Long may this trend continue.

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