Reacting to the news, Paul Hamer, Chief Executive of Sir Robert McAlpine, said:
“Sir Robert McAlpine welcomes the consultation from Government to allow employees to request flexible working from day one– a step in the right direction for the UK workforce and businesses alike. We strongly believe that at the core of every successful business is a motivated and happy workforce, and this means encouraging a flexible working culture to shake off the constraints of traditional and rigid working arrangements.
“On the face of it, there is a perception that construction is an industry that does not lend itself to flexible working, but that isn’t true. At Sir Robert McAlpine, we already have agile and flexible working policies in place and through our partnership with Timewise we are conducting pilot solutions to bring flexible working to our construction sites. For the past two years we have also been supporting Flex Appeal, founded by Anna Whitehouse, aka Mother Pukka, and campaigning to improve the underlying working culture of our sector. We don’t claim to have all the answers yet, but we know the value of offering flexibility to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce.
“In particular, we are passionate about tackling the mental health crisis in the construction industry and we believe that embracing a culture of flexible working can positively help alleviate depression and anxiety. Recent figures have shown that the suicide rate in construction is three times the national average for male workers, and is on the increase.
“Flexible working will not only act as a catalyst to support wellbeing and greater diversity, but will also contribute to boosting productivity and setting the UK on the right path towards economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to continuing our work with the Government on this first step to implementing increased flexible working across the UK workforce.”