On Saturday, April 7, 2018, Vicasso Account Executive Stephen Wood decided to take a long walk around the neighborhood with his expecting wife Lizzy, in an attempt to jumpstart her labor. As it turned out, it would be the last time they toured their neighborhood as a family of two. Steve and Lizzy had been patiently waiting for this moment to arrive for nine long months – and shortly after midnight the following morning, it was time for their first child to arrive. Fortunately, at that moment, Steve knew his work life could wait – his only focus was on his wife and the safe delivery of his first baby. Steve was the first beneficiary of Vicasso’s new Paid Family Leave benefit, and with the support of his manager and teammates, Steve’s family leave plan was triggered into action.
“I knew it was going to be different, but in those first few weeks especially, you don’t realize how much work becoming a new parent entails. I’m grateful for the one-on-one’s my Director spent with me to prepare for this, and the overall support from my team, because I really was able to drop everything – which allowed me to completely focus on becoming a dad. I didn’t have to think twice about being there for Lizzy, particularly as she was learning to breastfeed. She and our son, Gregory, both needed my help and the great thing was, they didn’t have to ask for it; I was completely available for my family.”
Steve had the option to take all 8 weeks of his paid family leave at once, or he could take advantage of the gradual-return-to-work option, which would allow him to spread the same amount of paid time off over a 12-week period. This gave him some flexibility to configure his leave based on his family’s needs. Considering all of the new responsibilities and adjustments that a family typically encounters within the first few weeks after welcoming a new child, Steve found comfort in knowing that his professional life was supporting his family life when it mattered the most.
Looking back, Lizzy knows Steve’s time at home made a significant impact on each of them:
“My son and I are now three months in, with a healthy breastfeeding relationship, thanks to the support from my husband that was available from the beginning. I am so grateful to have had Steve by my side during sleepless nights, to help soothe a crying newborn and to change countless diapers, so I could rest and recover from labor. He was able to help prepare meals and clean up so that I could put my energy toward feeding our baby. Steve and Gregory have an amazing bond now.” – Lizzy Wood
Steve agrees, “The best part is, Gregory knows me when I walk in the door. He knows I’m Daddy, he smiles. I honestly don’t think that would be happening if I didn’t have the opportunity to spend as much time with him in these first few months that I have been, in my most challenging (and rewarding) role – as a new Dad.”
Vicasso's new Paid Family Leave benefit is available to employees who welcome the birth of a son or daughter, the placement of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care, or to care for a family member who may have a serious health condition.
Learn more about Vicasso's culture and benefits. Check out our careers page for open positions.