flexible working model, Gender pay gap,

Multiplex has adopted a flexible working model to reduce its gender pay gap and increase the number, and influence of women working across its UK business

To tackle the lack of women in construction, Multiplex’s flexible working model ‘Multiplex Flex’ has been designed to target issues linked to gender equity, focusing on the health and wellbeing of female employees by increasing their freedom and opportunities.

Mulitplex hopes its flexible working model will help to attract and retain talent to support career progression and assist women into senior roles where the gender pay gap is highest at 95%.

It also supports the redistribution of care intra-households and the ability for colleagues to support their partners.

The company hopes to optimise team-based solutions that work for all, on a site-by-site basis, rather than focusing on HR and contractual considerations.

The new system will introduce a wide range of flexible options for Multiplex’s current UK workforce of 825, of which 21% are female.

The options, including flexitime, early Friday finishes, weekend time off in lieu, teleworking and 4-day weeks, in addition to remote working, have been trialled and evaluated over the last six months by Multiplex.

Multiplex’s project at The Broadway in Westminster, London, a mixed-use redevelopment of the former New Scotland Yard by Northacre, was one of the three project pilots, where all the flexible working options were tried.

Multiplex Flex was also successfully piloted at its head office in London and University of Glasgow project, which received the Timewise Flexible Innovator Award. The strategy also goes further than the Flexible Working Bill introduced to parliament in June this year.

The key findings from the three ‘Flex’ pilots were:

  • A significant improvement in the work life balance, helping to tackle construction’s long hour culture
  • A redistribution of care responsibilities within households as more men were able to support their partners at home
  • Less stress and burnout
  • Increased trust for people working flexibly, normalising these working practices
  • No negative impact on project programme, productivity, or budgets.

The company’s gender diversity targets include:

  • 50% of all graduate intakes to be female by 2022
  • 10% of all projects to be led by a female team member by 2023
  • Improving the median gender pay gap by 10% by 2025
  • At least 25% representation across the whole UK workforce by 2025.

‘Unlocking formal and informal flexible ways of working’

Callum Tuckett, managing director of Multiplex’s Europe business, said: “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.”

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