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Fri April 03 2020

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McAlpine trumps Wates with six months parental leave

9 Mar Reports of Wates Group’s new family-friendly employment policies has prompted competitor Sir Robert McAlpine to announce an even more progressive package for parental leave.

Even new dads get six months' paid leave at McAlpine
Even new dads get six months' paid leave at McAlpine

Sir Robert McAlpine will now give all new parents – men, women or other – the right to 26 weeks’ paid leave, no matter how their family grows, whether by birth, adoption or surrogacy. 

And new parents can now take family leave after just 12 months’ employment with the company, rather than two years, as it was before.

The new Wates package, unveiled earlier today, has increased maternity leave to 26 weeks’ full pay, plus a further 26 weeks’ statutory maternity pay. Paternity/partner leave is eight weeks full pay at Wates.

Like Wates, McAlpine has also introduced carer leave for those with caring responsibilities.

McAlpine revealed today that it has been trialling its Family First policies and is now rolling it out across the business.

Karen Brookes, executive director of people and infrastructure at Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “We aim to lead by example on inclusion, and the launch of our new Family First policies takes us one step further towards our ambition to be a flexible, family-friendly business that is the Best Place to Work.”

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Perhaps not coincidentally, both Wates and McAlpine are themselves family owned.

Paul Hamer
Paul Hamer

Not so long ago Sir Robert McAlpine was one of the most traditional, conservative – not to say reactionary – companies in the construction industry. But that was before the arrival of Paul Hamer as chief executive inn 2017 from consulting engineer WYG.

His first task was to seek to repair the reputational damage done to McAlpine by its leading role in industry backlisting schemes, through both the Consulting Association and the Economic League before that.

Paul Hamer has also led the company on a diversity and inclusivity drive, repositioning McAlpine at the vanguard of progressivism.

"It’s not enough to improve diversity and inclusion at Sir Robert McAlpine," he said recently. "I want to drive change across the industry. By acting first as a role model, and secondly by thoroughly scrutinising the attitudes to diversity & inclusion of prospective clients and collaborators, I want Sir Robert McAlpine to become a figurehead for positive change.”

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