Consultant Aecom wants its staff to work longer hours for the same money, it emerged this week.
The firm has started consulting staff about increasing their standard working week from 37.5 hours to 40 hours.
The proposal will affect all of the company’s 2,850 UK and Ireland employees. Staff with part-time working arrangements will also have their hours increased.
Employees learned of the proposals in an email citing the “challenging global economy” and the need for further action following a programme of “minimising property costs, reducing central and management overheads and modifying staff levels.”
The firm cut 350 jobs in the UK and Europe last November, blaming the ongoing effects of the recession. This was on top of 119 job cuts made in 2008.
The email, sent on behalf of Aecom managing directors for UK and Ireland Rob Furniss and Ajaz Chaudhri, says the move will allow Aecom “to recover greater revenue on certain framework contracts” and develop a culture in which the hours recorded by employees are not capped “even on lump-sum projects”.
Aecom told staff that the move would reduce charge rates allowing it to bid more competitively and increase its chances of winning work.
The extra working hours will give Aecom’s UK and Ireland business a 6.7% increase in chargeable time with no corresponding increase in salaries.
The US-owned consultant is using its National Employee Forum to handle communications with staff throughout the 12 week consultation process, with written confirmation of the new hours to follow. Consultation concludes on 3 December with the proposed change coming into effect from 6 December.