The Mews Blog > Being a working parent at Mews
Being a parent is probably the most challenging thing many of us will go through. It’s life changing in almost every conceivable way, and that includes our work life.
Parental policy, therefore, is hugely important for anyone considering children (and anyone who already does). A positive culture around parenting will make a big difference to employee happiness and is increasingly considered by job seekers expecting a more modern, flexible take on parenting while at work.
All of this preamble leads to the obvious question: what’s it like to be a parent at Mews?
Well, I was so committed to writing this blog from a position of authority that I went and had a child of my own – pity my poor colleagues who are now besieged by adorable but frequent photo updates.
Parenthood at Mews
In those early years of being a start-up, Mews simply didn’t have that many parents working with us. Most likely the fast-paced, sometimes hectic environment (it’s okay, we can admit it) usually attracts a younger demographic with fewer time commitments.
But now, things have changed. As we continue to scale up fast, our demographics are shifting. An average of one new mini Mewser is born every month, and we currently have 20 team members with babies under a year old. In total, there are now 130 parents working at Mews. This required a rethink of our parental policy.
Parental leave at Mews
Of course, statutory parental policy varies significantly depending on where you are in the world. In Sweden, both parents receive 480 days of paid leave. In the UK, the father receives just two weeks off, not even fully paid.
The new Mews parental leave policy ensures that all new parents get ample time with their new bundles of joy/stress.
If you’re the primary caregiver, you get six months of fully paid time off. If you’re the secondary caregiver, you get two months fully paid. It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re based, the time can be used however you like during the first year of the baby’s life.
For instance, I took one full month off at the beginning, then returned to work for two-day weeks until the rest of my leave was used up. I enjoyed the balance of not losing touch at work while still being able to spend plenty of time with my baby (and wife), but the division of this time is entirely up to the individual.
This isn't just for traditional births either: it also covers adoption and surrogates. The only real small print is that you need to have been at Mews for at least one year in order to benefit.
Unlimited holidays and flexible working
All Mewsers benefit from unlimited holidays and flexible working, but when you’re a parent it really comes in handy.
First, there’s no unnecessary stress if you need to book some time off for an appointment, whether it’s for the doctor, a recital or an all-important under elevens football match.
Second, you don’t need to work a strict nine-to-five if it doesn’t fit in with your schedule. For instance, some Mewsers start later (or earlier) as they need to do the school run.
Third, if you choose to work from home, you can be much more present if your kid is still around the house. I work from home, and it means I can jump in and feed or change our baby whenever necessary, and refill on those restorative smiles whenever I feel the need. And yes, bring some joy to the occasional Teams meeting.
A supportive environment
Feeling supported can be an intangible feeling, but there are a few concrete steps Mews has made to ensure a positive parental culture. There’s a special Slack channel dedicated to parenting resources and tips. There are career catchups before and after parental leave, combined with optional coaching sessions to facilitate a successful return to work, to ensure that having a child doesn’t affect career growth.
And of course, it wouldn’t be Mews if there wasn’t merch involved. Little ones will be sent a couple of special bodysuits so they don’t feel left out as their parent parades their own Mews couture in front of them.
Being a parent can be scary. Worrying about how to fit it into your work life should be the least of your worries. Thankfully, with Mews, it is.
While you’re here, why not check out our open roles? We’ve got plenty and we’d love to hear from you, parent or otherwise.
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