Multiplex adopts flexible working for UK staff

Half of employers believe Covid-19 will help see value in flexible workingInternational construction contractor Multiplex has introduced a new flexible working initiative in the hope that it will improve gender balance within the business.

The policy, dubbed Multiplex Flex, will provide its 825 members of staff in the UK with different options for flexible working. This will include early finishes on Fridays, four-day working weeks, remote working, a nine-day fortnight, or compressed hours, teleworking and extra time off in lieu of overtime hours.

The various approaches, designed to address issues linked to gender equity and improving health and wellbeing, have been trialled through live projects during the past six months. The business found that it built more trust and decreased stress for staff, as well as boosted overall performance and productivity.

According to the contractor, the move will help to make the workplace more attractive for women, who currently make up 21% of its workforce, as well as assisting with intra-household care redistribution by enabling employees to better support their partners. It will also benefit the organisation’s gender diversity targets of having 10% of projects be female-led by 2023 and improving the gender gap by 10% by 2025.

The system was also reviewed by Timewise, the flexible-working consultancy, which has also seen Kier, McAlpine, Bam, Skanska and Wilmott Dixon find a similar system to be beneficial.

Callum Tuckett, managing director of Multiplex’s Europe business, commented that it is well-documented that the construction industry is behind the curve in terms of creating opportunities for women, including pay equity and career progression.

“By enabling project directors to unlock formal and informal flexible ways of working and introducing more flexible options throughout the employee life cycle of recruitment, training and promotion, we are convinced we can create a working environment at Multiplex that is not only equitable and more diverse, but happy, healthy and productive,” he said.