I make no bones about telling people I love my job because I really do. I’ve worked for Lush for 4 years and been on maternity leave twice in that time. Most recently I returned to work just over a month ago when Ethan was 8 months old.
Ethan like my girls is breastfed, however, unlike my girls he won’t take a bottle and barely takes a drop from a cup. We have tried a variety of formula brands all of which he rejected and I express in work to send a bottle of expressed milk in for him to refuse to drink in nursery each day. Because of this, he drinks a lot of milk during the night to make up for what he isn’t drinking during the day.
Fast forward to me being asked to go to Cardiff with work for a managers meeting…. for 4 days! There is no way I could leave Ethan for 3 nights when he is refusing fluids other than his breastfeeds. Queue the people support team being asked if I could bring Ethan with me to the meeting. I figured I could either keep him with me at all times or leave him with a responsible adult during meetings to still enable me to nurse him morning, evening and night to ensure he has enough fluids.
Their response was overwhelmingly good! Not only did they say I could bring Ethan but they would also pay for me to bring somebody to watch him while I was in meetings. Yes, they are flying me over with Ethan and my mum for the 4 day trip to ensure that I feel supported in both my return to work and in my breastfeeding journey.
Lush have made some amazing changes in the last 6 months, from paying all staff the living wage to increasing maternity pay to 6 months full pay before statutory maternity pay kicks in. And from my experience I also believe they are going above and beyond what is expected to keep staff supported and motivated with regards to returning to work after having a baby. Heck, they even pay for 20 hours of nursery care each week to help take the financial strain off mothers returning to work.
So many women struggle to return to work after a baby and I feel very lucky to work for Lush, to feel that they really do have my back when it comes to maternity leave, returning to work and breastfeeding. Here is hoping that while they continue to make positive changes and lead the way, the paving slabs they leave on their route will guide other companies to start treating the mothers on their teams with the same level of support and respect that I have experienced.
Without Lush helping make my return to work so pleasent, I can honestly say it is quite likely that not only wouldn’t I be going to this meeting, I quite likely would have contemplated not returning to work for a few years. I know some mum’s enjoy staying at home and have the support to do so but I both need to work for financial reasons and for my sanity, though in spite of loving my job juggling kids, work and childcare is still bloody hard work so thank you Lush for making it as easy and financially viable as possible for me to come back to work after baby number 3. You quite simply rock as an employer.