Consultant Aecom has admitted mistakes were made in the way it told staff about proposals to extend working hours without any increase in pay.
Having informed staff early last month that the firm planned to increase the working week for all 2,850 UK and Ireland employees from 37.5 hours to 40 hours, Aecom was criticised for making the announcement by email (NCE 16 September).
The US-owned consultant has now scheduled open feedback sessions with senior management, across all offices. In fresh emails sent on behalf of Aecom managing directors for the UK and Ireland Rob Furniss and Ajaz Chaudhri, the company said it had taken on board criticism received “about the inappropriateness of the Newsflash [email] as means of communication for this subject.”
“Therefore, we have decided to hold face to face feedback sessions in each of our offices – with any member of staff who wants to come along and listen,” it continued.
In stark contrast to original plans to handle all feedback via Aecom’s National Employee Forum, the email suggests either Furniss or Chaudhri will now be in attendance at each of the sessions.
The 90-day consultation process concludes on 3 December, with the new 40-hour week set to come into effect from 6 December.
The additional working hours will give Aecom’s UK and Ireland business a 6.7% increase in chargeable time with no corresponding increase in salaries.
The original email cited the “challenging global economy” and the need for further action following a programme of cost -cutting.
Aecom cut 350 jobs in the UK and Europe in 2009, and 118 in 2008, blaming the recession.