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Celebrating National Families Week - Meet Thomas Lawson, Head of Finance

As we celebrate National Families Week 2024 (13th – 19th May), we are delighted to announce that CHU is on the list of certified Family Inclusive Workplaces which highlights the achievements of the Family Friendly Workplaces, supported by UNICEF Australia and Parents At Work. 

The certification recognises Australian employers who meet the National Work + Family Standards and encourages organisations to continuously measure and improve to make Australia one of the best places to work and care for families. 

CHU leads the way with diversity and inclusion as one of its core values and recognises the importance supporting families at work with a range of initiatives.  

As the Head of Finance at CHU, Thomas Lawson brings not only his expertise but also his firsthand experience with the family-friendly benefits CHU offers. With 15 years of experience in various finance roles across different industries, including manufacturing and professional services, Thomas found his niche at CHU four years ago.  

In the following article, Tom shares his experience of taking extended parental leave and how CHU supported him through this significant phase. 

Please share your experience with taking extended parental leave? How did CHU support you during this time? 

I was personally encouraged by senior leaders to take and enjoy the leave.  It was an amazing opportunity to bond and care for my daughter which would not have been possible while working. It also had a profoundly positive impact on my family as this leave allowed my wife to return to work earlier which was important to her. As this was our first child, jumping in the deep end of full-time caring for a baby made me a more capable father so that caring responsibilities have been better shared between my wife and I going forward. 

How have CHU's family-friendly policies and culture contributed to your work-life balance during your parental leave and upon your return to work? 

CHU’s Hybrid working model has allowed me to spend more time with my family than would be possible without the flexibility to work where and when I want. It allows me to work easily around daycare pick up and drop-offs. I was also able to stagger my working hours and work part-time in order to give my wife a break from caring for our daughter when she was on parental leave. 

What advice would you give to other CHU employees or individuals considering taking extended leave for family reasons? And how has your experience shaped your perspective on work-life balance? 

Just do it! It was time with my family that I will always cherish, and CHU’s caring approach meant that I never felt like that time with my family would adversely impact my career in any way. The experience has shown me that having a greater focus on work-life balance is not only fantastic for my own family, but it allows me to bring a greater energy to my work. 

What feedback would you provide about your overall experience working with CHU if you were to discuss with a potential candidate about the employee value proposition of CHU (ie why work at CHU)? 

The benefit that CHU provide seem best-in-class to me. I have never personally worked with the flexibility that CHU provides anywhere else. Working at CHU has allowed me to be more connected to my family and live a physically and mentally healthy life by having the flexibility to work when and where I want so that I can enjoy dedicated family time and time for physical exercise while still progressing my career. 

Family friendly and flexibility makes CHU an employee of choice 

Tom’s journey exemplifies how CHU's family-friendly policies and culture create an environment where team members can thrive both personally and professionally. CHU celebrates sharing stories like Toms as proof that supporting work/life balance of its team members and encouraging an inclusive workplace resonates with team members and reflects on CHU’s positive culture.

At CHU, diversity and inclusion is central to our culture, policies, and practices. Our values are central to everything we do. It’s the way we treat each other, our customers and our community.  

Learn more about life at CHU and how we support our team and our customers.