The West

Time for bonding is all important

Adjusting to part-time work has been "challenging" for James Cheng but spending the extra time with his 14-month-old daughter Sophia has, he says, made it all worthwhile.

The Ernst & Young senior manager said his employer was supportive when he said he wanted to take parental leave and return part-time.

"The main motivation was an amazing professional opportunity for my wife, which meant her returning to work earlier than anticipated," he said. "It was also something I had been thinking about anyway.

"We could have put our daughter into day care five days a week but we wanted to have at least one of us being the primary carer and spending more time with her."

The reaction from friends and colleagues was similarly positive but Mr Cheng said his decision had surprised some.

However, the experience was not without its difficulties.

"I've found I need to manage work commitments much more closely than when I was a full-time employee and it means thinking outside the box sometimes, being able to say no sometimes to additional work commitments and provide alternative solutions," he said. "It's definitely challenging but spending the extra time with Sophia makes it worth it."

Ernst & Young managing partner Michael Anghie said the group's flexible work policy was "critical" in helping it to get a broader pool of talent and reduce turnover.

Kate Emery

It's challenging but spending the extra time with Sophia makes it worth it."

The West Australian

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