Construction firm adopts work-life policy ahead of EU laws

Construction firm ISG Interior Exterior is running a series of on-site pilot schemes to try and improve the work-life balance of its employees.

Managers have responded to staff concerns over the construction industry’s long-hours culture and pressurised work environment, which has made it difficult to balance personal and working lives.

The company also had concerns about the UK losing its opt-out clause in the Working Time Directive and decided to take action ahead of any legislation being introduced.

The first pilot scheme has just been completed during a new-build project at Goldsmith’s College in London. According to head of HR, Tracy Butterworth, this has been a great success.

“We asked staff what they wanted to change. Not working at weekends and doing their hours during weekdays was the main suggestion,” she told Personnel Today.

“There is a very strong business case for this – it is vital for commercial success in a very competitive market,” she said.

The construction industry has the highest suicide rate of any industry and also loses many people due to injury and burnout.

Butterworth said the scheme would help retention rates and attract new people to the industry, which is suffering from a severe skills shortage.

The construction unions have warned that these shortages will need to be addressed if the 2012 London Olympics infrastructure is to be completed on time.

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