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More organisations are thinking of ways to make their workplace more attractive to the right talent pool, leading to improvements in workplace flexibility.

A new such initiative is being launched at AECOM this week in order to benefit working parents and attract female engineers back to the profession.

In 2017, the global infrastructure firm announced its collaboration with FlexCareers, an online job and career platform, to kick-start term-time only contracts.

Term-time only contracts will require employees to work during school terms only, allowing carers of children to balance their time between work and home whilst earning a pro-rata salary – approximately 82 per cent of a full-time salary.

AECOM launched the new contract with an offering of 20 positions advertised on the FlexCareers platform which has over 70,000 women in its network. Eligible AECOM workers can also apply to switch to the new scheme.

Positions are available in technical areas including mechanical and electrical engineering, acoustics, environmental planning, civil engineering, geotechnical and chemical engineering.

 Lisa Cronk, HR Business Partner

Lisa Cronk, HR Business Partner

 

Lisa Cronk, HR Business Partner at AECOM said the organisation’s view is simple when it comes to work flexibility.

“If it works for the client, the team and you – it works for us,” Ms Cronk said.

Since 2015, the company has increased its employees’ capacity to purchase additional leave from two weeks to four and extended parental leave to twelve weeks for primary care givers, before a child turns one.

Additionally, all contracts at AECOM have had start and finish times removed and their Flex Day trial gives 900 participants a day off each month.

Ms Cronk said greater flexibility has allowed more employees to balance their commitments, pursue other interests or travel. An internal survey in March 2017 showed 80 per cent of AECOM’s 3,600 workers utilise workplace flexibility.

“We’re trying to get people away from thinking that they need a reason to work flexibly,” Ms Cronk said.

AECOM has worked to strip away formal application processes for flexibility to make it a more informal process. Ms Cronk said the key to success in making flexibility initiatives work is the role of leaders and her advice for other workplaces looking to implement such policies is to keep things simple and informal.

“If there is one thing we can do to get that cultural change, it is that every manager works flexibly, talks about it and encourages others,” she said.

AECOM was recognised as a HRD Innovative HR Team in 2017 and their new term-time only contracts begin with the start of the 2018 school year.


DID YOU KNOW?

A staggering 83 per cent of Australian employees said flexible working hours are important for promoting wellbeing in the workplace (Workplace Wellbeing).