Posted on 12/05/2018 via BSH Home Appliances Group

Parental leave at BSH: A dad’s perspective

Jürgen Pejak – a technical editor at BSH in Giengen –returned to work after 10 months’ parental leave. Find out more about his experience and his advice to other fathers.

With the arrival of twins, Jürgen’s family very quickly doubled in size – and he wanted to experience as much of this exciting change as possible. With his wife keen to get back to work, they agreed that he would take the bigger part of their allocated parental leave.

His decision to take a 10-month break was fully supported by his BSH managers and colleagues. Jürgen says that being open with his team from the beginning really helped them to plan ahead: “My managers and colleagues had plenty of time to adjust to the situation,” he explains, “This kept things relaxed and I only received positive feedback.”

Of course, you can’t plan everything – and having twins was always going to have its challenges. “Things certainly got more complicated when they arrived early,” says Jürgen. While his new son was able to go home after a week, his daughter had to stay in hospital a bit longer. Fortunately, Jürgen was able to work flexibly during this time and take holiday days fairly spontaneously.

After nearly a year off, Jürgen has returned part time – working 24 hours a week over four days. He says the secret to a smooth reduction in hours is clear communication in terms of presence and responsibilities. “Of course, if you work a good third less than before, it is not possible to be involved in as many aspects of work,” he says, “but I do not feel disadvantaged.”

His advice to other fathers considering doing something similar is to just go for it. “It’s exhausting but worth it – and it allows you to build a very different relationship with your children,” he says. While 10 months may seem like a long time to some, Jürgen feels like he’s never been away. “I was welcomed back with open arms and a decorated desk,” he explains, “and didn’t need to be re-trained in anything.” He continues to enjoy juggling his diverse responsibilities at work and at home – even if it means a 6 am start.