We would like to introduce you to Senior HR Adviser, Sarah Scicluna. Sarah welcomed the arrival of her daughter Susanna Rose earlier in the year.

Tell us a little about yourself

I am a senior HR adviser at HLB Mann Judd Sydney. I commenced at the firm shortly after completing my degree, starting out as an assistant in the HR team.

I consider myself an HR generalist. Over the past 10 years, I have been involved in recruitment, employee relations, training and policy development. The role is interesting and varied, much like the amazing people I work with.

In my role in the HR team, I have guided staff through their parental leave. I have even been responsible for reviewing and adapting HLB’s parental leave policies.

Big changes for you this year?

Yes, we are so thrilled to welcome Susanna Rose who was born earlier in the year. We are about to spend our first Mother’s Day together as a family.

How have you benefitted from HLB’s flexible working arrangements?

I knew it was going to be interesting being on the other side of the parental leave policy process. Experiencing it in practice however has given me a new appreciation for what’s on offer at HLB.

I felt supported even before the baby arrived. My team was genuinely excited when I shared the news that I was expecting. We discussed my workload and future career goals. I was also given access to an external executive career and family coaching expert for wellbeing support.

The firm’s approach to flexible work meant that attending appointments throughout my pregnancy was stress-free.

I’m planning to take 12 months parental leave and it’s reassuring to know I have the support from HLB to focus solely on my daughter’s first year of life. In saying that, I certainly don’t feel that I’ve been forgotten about. The team stays in regular contact, and they have all met Susie.

What does your return to HLB look like?

After full-time parenting the idea of returning to work seems daunting. HLB however has given me the opportunity to start back gradually under a flexible work arrangement to balance work and family responsibilities.

Do you have any recommendations for better managing your work life balance?

If you are planning for a family, it’s important to review your employer’s parental leave policies.

Also, when you are ready, share the good news with your employer. My team was so excited when I told them the news. By speaking up early, we had plenty of time to plan for the journey ahead together as a team.