We’re absolutely blown away by the pure awesomeness of the founder of Zero Co Mike Smith who TOTALLY gets how difficult it is to work from home while the kids are homeschooling or simply asking for snacks all day long.

Recently he initiated a policy of providing four hours of paid parental leave each and every week until lockdown ends.

Four hours of paid parental leave for employees

Mike and his wife, Alyssa, don’t have any kids but they still totally get the impossibility of working/kid-wrangling at the same time. Out of the 18 full-time staff, six are also parents.

zero co staff
The Zero Co staff. Source: Instagram

As Mike explains,

It became really clear, really quickly just how challenging the environment was for the mums in my team. 

At almost every meeting, there was a two-year-old screaming in one room, a four-year-old in the next, and a six-year-old they are trying to home school in another. And on nearly every call, there was a child sitting on one knee or running into the room.” 

Mike is the founder of Aussie eco-cleaning company, Zero Co. We recently reviewed their range and found it was absolutely spectacular! Zero Co’s mission is to eliminate single-use plastic from every household and they are well on their way with 40,000 households opting for the Zero Co way.

Zero Co cleaning supplies
Source: Mum Central

We want to make sure that one day, our kids and everyone else’s kids get the chance to experience the things we experienced by trekking deep into the wilderness. We want to make sure those places remain. Untrashed.”

Must Read: To the Mum Who Thinks She's Failing at Home-Based Learning

‘We want you to spend time with your kids’ 

When the lockdown hit Byron Bay in August, Mike knew his company would need to adapt to this change. He sent a company-wide email to inform his staff of some of the changes, including incorporating four hours of paid parental leave per week.

I want to let all the parents of our team know that we care about you and we care about your kids. Really deeply,” he wrote.

“We want you to spend time with your kids. We want to create an environment where you don’t feel guilty about doing what you need to do at home. We want you to make sure your kids are getting the attention, love and care they need.

They need you and the planet needs you to make them a priority. They are our future.

It’s tough so please don’t feel guilty about trying to balance being a parent and employee at the same time.

So here are four hours I want you to take to just be with your kids. Go for a walk, go to the beach, do whatever – just take the time and be present.”

Zero Co
Mike started Zero Co in 2019. Source: Supplied

Of course, his employees are so grateful for the awesomeness of Mike and the extra flexibility during lockdown.

What a proud moment, to be part of an organisation who puts humans first! Thank you for providing us as parents the opportunity to balance our lives in this crazy world right now,” said Zero Co COO Sandy Morrow.

Mike urges other bosses to consider implementing a similar policy and also suggests that parents who are struggling with the work/kid balance need to ditch the guilt.

Even if your company doesn’t implement a similar policy, screw your boss! Take the time to be with your kids and don’t feel guilty.”

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Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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