AECOM announces school term-only contracts for working parents

by HRD24 Oct 2017
How can qualified engineers and scientists return to an industry they left because it was impossible to balance work and primary care responsibilities?

AECOM is working with online jobs and careers site, FlexCareers, to launch school term-only contracts across a number of roles in Australia & New Zealand.

The global infrastructure firm introduced this initiative to allow parents or grandparents, to spend all 12 weeks of the school holidays caring for their children while receiving a monthly pro-rata salary.

AECOM chief executive for Australia & NZ Todd Battley said there is a significant pool of talent who have stepped away from the industry because they were unable to nurture their families and their careers at the same time.

However, that no longer has to be the case.

“By working with FlexCareers, on what we believe to be an industry first, we will be able target an extensive network of parents and guardians who are seeking flexibility to manage childcare responsibilities,” he said.

“Roles will be advertised through the FlexCareers job board and our team will ensure the support is available to help parents transition back to the workplace.”

AECOM’s ANZ HR director Helen Fraser is leading the initiative and she regularly speaks with women who express the challenges they face during school holidays

“There is no doubt that many women stop working because it is just too hard to manage the 12 weeks of school holidays per year,” she said.

“This arrangement will take that worry away for people. Piloting the term-time contracts with up to 20 roles across Australia and New Zealand initially gives AECOM 12 months to test and refine it with our clients, our people and professional women who have not been actively looking for work in the infrastructure sector.

“We are confident that it will appeal to both men and women with caring responsibilities.”

The first 17 roles to be advertised externally will cover a broad spectrum of technical areas, including mechanical and electrical engineering, acoustics, environmental planning, civil engineering, geotechnical and chemical engineering.

Existing employees will also be able to express their interest in changing their contracts to be part of the term time trial.

In 2016, AECOM was recognised by Engineers Australia as a leader on gender diversity and pay equality in a sector that has typically underperformed in this regard.

The new term-time contracts will commence at the beginning of the 2018 school year and are in addition to AECOM’s existing commitments to flexible work practices.

Natalie Goldman, CEO of FlexCareers added that they are delighted to partner with AECOM on this innovative program.

“FlexCareers has more than 70,000 talented women in our network, many of whom have previously been unable to secure roles commensurate with their skills and experience, due to a lack of workplace flexibility,” she said.

“FlexCareers provides job seekers with transparency and the certainty that employers truly champion flexible working. We will be working closely with AECOM to ensure that all applicants for this program are fully supported throughout the recruitment and return to work process.”

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  • by 50/50 24/10/2017 3:49:41 PM

    Another nail in the coffin for fixed labour and collective agreements and a shot in the arm for the gig economy. If this takes off Unions will struggle even further. The Unions will bemoan that people cant get full time work one week but on the other hand will praise it as it fits in with working parents. Which way will they pick.