Being there for more milestones
Amanda has just returned to work after taking parental leave for her second child, Olivia. Since returning from parental leave, Amanda moved to the l partner marketing team and oversees the LEGO Group’s work with Merlin and other external partners.
Staying financially sound
“With our first child, Owen, we really had to financially plan for the time off,” said Amanda. “Childcare is expensive, so we had to decide if it would make more sense to return to work after three months or to take additional unpaid leave and look after Owen ourselves.We had to make some pretty big decisions just to make sure we could stay financially sound while raising our baby.”
Amanda and her partner Brian eventually made it work by sharing the leave and then tapping into their vacation time. Amanda herself took six months off, but some of this was unpaid.
This time around – thanks to the LEGO Group’s new parental leave policy, which gives primary caregivers 26 weeks of paid leave and secondary caregivers 8 weeks paid leave – things have been different.
With the new policy, Amanda took seven months off, with 26 weeks fully paid through the parental leave and used an additional month of paid vacation time. The couple were able to ‘tag team’ on leave, as there is a new paid policy leave in the state of Connecticut, where they live. This meant that they could afford for Brian to also take 13 weeks off to look after Olivia once Amanda returned to work. As well as being able to save on expensive childcare, Amanda relished taking a significant amount of time off with both Olivia and Owen for a number of reasons:
“My time off with Olivia was incredible,” said Amanda. “We had time to bond, and I was around for far more milestones; I remember her first rolling over and sitting – those are things you don’t forget. Plus I was able to spend more time with my son and help him transition from being an only child.
I also had time to get a sleep schedule in place – that’s so important to get nailed before you go back to work. How can new parents be expected to function at work when they’re so tired? If you give people the time to sort the routine with their child, then they’re not so tired. I know getting that sorted has made me both a better mom and spouse as well as a better employee!”
Dual household tradition
Now Amanda is back at work, Brian is taking his 13 weeks of state leave with the kids. It’s really important to Amanda that her children grow up in a dual-working household after having grown up in one herself:
“Thanks to the combination of my fully-paid leave and Brian’s state leave, Brian gets to spend valuable time with Olivia that he never had with Owen. Just as I saw both my parents and grandparents going to work, my son and daughter will see how Brian and I are able to share work and childcare responsibilities. It’s so important to me that they see that – and understand that each parent can do both.”
Part of the family
Amanda is excited to be back with the team at the LEGO Group and is embracing the challenges that come with taking on a new role. She’s missing spending all day with her little ones, and can’t wait to get home to them each day, but she says it all reminds her of how lucky she was to have so much leave with them:
“I’m often asked how people can get jobs at the LEGO Group – not just because it’s a great brand, but the benefits of working here are incredible. It’s a family business through and through, with every employee seen as a family member. That’s reflected in the great benefits we receive – including the groundbreaking parental leave policy. I’m so grateful for getting to spend so much time with both my kids over the past year.”
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