2 x mat leave in the public sector

General Details
Working mother
Type of leave:
Number of years professional experience:
11-15 years
Length of leave:
6-12 months
Type of experience:
Work pattern on return:
Flexible full-time
Message I had high hopes of public sector mat leave (good pay, support etc) and was not disappointed on either my first period (6 years ago) or my second (3 years ago). I got a weekly newsletter each time, details of promotion rounds/internal jobs and as much contact as I wanted.
On my first mat leave with my previous public sector employer I did encounter some problems on return. I was moved to a different team (expected) but my new manager was a single childless woman who made it clear that she did not like flexible working or any flexibility to deal with childcare emergencies. I returned full time, working from home 2 days a week. However, I and other home workers were often sidelined for important work which went to those in the office 5 days a week. This was just an issue with this manager, but when the opportunity came to move to another public sector employer for more pay, I leapt at it.
Despite falling pregnant only 2 months into the new job, my employer couldn't have been more supportive. I was given extra working from home time, encouraged to raise issues, and the quality of work was maintained. They let me do a phased return of 2 days wfh from 9-12 months and then full time still with 2 days wfh after 12 months. My initial return was to a high profile implementation project led by a part time senior lawyer. Since moving to my permanent team, I have been given very high profile work and no-one minds about juggling meetings around days in the office. It helps that many colleagues have children too. I do long hours on my wfh days, but I also get to do the school run.
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