Bridgend Engine Plant (BEP) makes working for Ford as family friendly as possible.
In fact, its efforts to integrate working life with family life has been recognised in the Chairman’s Leadership Awards for Diversity.
The management team at BEP was singled out for the way it has developed policies over the last few years which allow production staff to share duties and about 20 employees have Flexible Working Arrangements.
The BEP programme has evolved to provide flexible working arrangements in almost every department in the plant and Neil Davis, assistant plant manager, said he was delighted they had won the award.
“We have been developing the programme over a couple of years and recognise that work-life balance can have a positive outcome for everyone.
“It is not easy for a manufacturing environment to have a large range of flexible work arrangements operating within it so the skill of the team which developed the programme has been crucial in making these differences work for the benefit of the employees and the company.
“It’s a positive way to use temporary or part time staff in different areas of production to marry up their skills and abilities so they can work together and complement each other without impacting on production requirements.”
The reason BEP was nominated and won the award was because it recognised that a straight-forward Flexible Working Arrangement would not be suitable for everyone.
The starting position is always what the employee would like in an ideal world, and then the plant will see if we can make it work. For example, an employee might request to only work Monday – Wednesday.
If there is nobody else on a FWA on their shift it is likely that it will be agreed. If someone already has that, it would offer the employee the choice to job share and work the Thursday, Friday & one other day or see if the request could be accommodated on a different shift.
It also has FWA that work over a three-week period which allows an employee to work different hours/days in different weeks depending on the shift pattern that week.
Our economics editor Larry Elliott explains:
The increasingly polarised US economy has meant that a record-breaking period of growth has been accompanied by falling life expectancy, high levels of poverty and stagnant living standards for average Americans, the International Monetary Fund has said.
In its annual health check on the world’s biggest economy, the IMF highlighted a range of “troubling” social indicators marring a decade-long expansion which in July will be the longest in the country’s history.
It called for more generous in-work benefits for the low paid, a minimum wage rise, higher spending on education and action to reduce deaths by opioids as part of a wide-ranging programme of anti-poverty measures.
The IMF’s annual article IV consultation said the US economy had shown extraordinary resilience, noting that unemployment was at its lowest in 50 years, but that “the benefits from this decade-long expansion have not been widely shared”.
The IMF also identified several kay areas where the US economy is failing Americans, particularly those at the lower end of the wealth and income scale:
- The impact of rising suicides and drug overdoses on falling life expectancy, now one of the lowest in the G7.
- A rise of just 2.2% in inflation-adjusted incomes for the median US household since the end of the 1990s, even though per capita incomes have risen by 23%.
- A decrease in wealth among the poorest 40% of the population since 1983.
- The fact that 45 million Americans live in poverty.
- An erosion of social mobility so that half of today’s young American adults earn less than their parents did at a similar age. Forty years ago the figure was 10%.
- Poor education outcomes by international standards despite devoting a bigger slice of national income to schools and colleges.