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Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant team top for family friendly policies

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.