“To me, the opportunity to take a significant amount of leave was critical to me forming a connection with my daughter,” says Mo. “It also gave my wife an opportunity to re-enter the workforce after eight months away, something which was important to her.”
As part of WSP’s Flexible Work Policy, fathers can take up to three months paid leave, if they become the primary carer of their child within their first 12 months.
Mo adds, “Having the opportunity to work flexibly is a sign that the firm walks the talk – not only is WSP committed to abiding by its Guiding Principles, but it also takes the social wellbeing of its people very seriously. I’m grateful to my managers for their support and to my clients for their understanding.
“There are a number of young dads in our office who have made use of our flexible working to spend time with their young children. I think it’s a great initiative that’s moving with the times.”
Speaking of the challenges an extended period of leave can bring, Mo says, “I made sure that I completed my deliverables before I left and informed my clients I was going on parental leave and let them know who their contact would be moving forward, and when I’d be back. While I was on leave, I attended some client meetings and kept in touch with my team to make sure I wasn’t out of the loop.
“Something that has left a lasting impact on me is the firm’s goodwill and trust. The hours I worked attending meetings was compensated. It demonstrated that this wasn’t the expectation but my commitment was appreciated.”
Following his return to work full-time in late 2018, Mo continues to work flexibly when required. He says, “I’m really enjoying sinking my teeth into the complexities and dynamic nature of fire engineering. I have a passion for out-of-the-box thinking and innovation. Working on fire engineering projects, where no two buildings are the same, you get to experience a broad range of challenges across multiple types of developments, particularly in the commercial and residential market. Some of these projects have included Castle Towers Shopping Centre, One Parramatta Square and Clemton Park in Sydney’s west.
“These projects are based on improving the communities in which we live, and they are key elements to creating a prosperous future. It’s pleasing to know that the kinds of projects we work on have a lasting impact.”
He concludes, “With a great team and a young family at home, this period in my life is exciting and ultimately rewarding.”
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