Applications for AECOM’s School Term Employment program opened on 23rd October, marking a ground-breaking turn for the engineering industry in Australia and New Zealand by providing a manageable working arrangement for parents and carers that have previously struggled to balance work and family commitments (read more here).
The bold move by AECOM is primarily designed to attract women, often the primary carers of young children, back to an industry that has previously been known for a lack of workplace flexibility and long hours. The hope is though that men and women within AECOM’s current business will also take up the opportunity to spend more time with their families.
Supported by FlexCareers, AECOM hopes to employ around 17 engineers, planners and environmental scientists across it’s Australian and New Zealand businesses in a pilot that will pave the way for school term employment contracts to be embedded across the business in future years.
To help you decide if this opportunity is for you, we’ve developed a Q&A in response to some of the questions we’ve been asked and also to provide you with more information.
I’m really interested in this opportunity, but I can’t commit to joining AECOM this coming February, can I still express interest?
Absolutely! AECOM is running a General Expression of Interest for those who are keen to work with us on a school term only basis, but do not meet the criteria for the roles advertised for the February 2018 intake.
Do I have to have Australian industry experience or is international experience relevant?
AECOM welcome candidates with international experience. For engineering roles, AECOM do require your international qualifications be recognised and/or accredited by Engineers Australia and you will need to provide evidence of this at your interview.
I don’t have a visa, will you sponsor me?
If you are not an Australian citizen, you need to have a current visa that provides you with the right to work in Australia for the entire 12 month period – until end of Feb 2019. This visa MUST be in place prior to attending an interview.
When do the roles start?
The School Term employment contracts will all begin in February 2018 to align with the new school year.
When is the closing date for the applications?
Applications close on 30th November, so AECOM have time to interview and make offers prior to the Christmas holidays.
I still want to be able to drop my kids off at school, which would prevent me from getting into the office before 9.30am, will the roles have access to flexible start and finish times?
All full time AECOM employees are contracted to work 40 standard hours per week, however we do offer a flexible working environment, which includes flexible start and finish times.
All flexible working arrangements need to be discussed with your team leader, and are dependent on the demands of your role and your teams resourcing needs. We have a simple mantra- if it works for your team, your clients and you, it works for AECOM.
Is it possible to work from home?
This option is available to all AECOM staff, however it does need to be agreed with the rest of the team, as outlined above if it works for you, your team and your clients, it works for AECOM.
How will my salary be impacted?
Your salary will be based upon the full time equivalent for the role, and will then be pro-rated based on the number of days off per year for public schools in your state or country. You pro-rated salary will be approximately 82% of a full-time salary, and you will be paid every month on the 15th.
Will I accrue annual leave each month?
Typically you will accrue 5 days leave per month as annual leave (to be calculated for each state/territory and country). This leave will be added to your leave balance on 15th of each month.
How will long service leave accrue?
Long service leave will be accrued in the same was as for any part-time Australian employee, dependent upon laws in your state and territory. For example, in Victoria, if you move into a permanent role with AECOM and leave after 7 years, you will accrue long service leave based on each year of continuous service and it will be paid on your salary level at the time of taking leave.
Long service leave is not applicable for NZ employees.
Will Personal/Sick leave be available?
You are entitled to 10 days personal / sick leave per year, which will be paid at the reduced (c.82% of FTE) salary rate. If you are sick during the school holidays, these days can’t be converted to sick leave – they must be taken as annual leave.
Will I be entitled to paid parental leave?
If your employment with AECOM extends beyond 12 months, you will be entitled to paid parental leave, paid at your pro-rated (c.82% of FTE) salary rate.
Will I be able to purchase additional annual leave?
For this period of the trial, the option to purchase additional leave will not be available to school term contract employees.
What if I still have a leave balance at the end of the fixed-term contract?
Any leave at the end of your fixed-term contract with AECOM will be paid to you at your pro-rated salary.
Will I be able to become a permanent employee after the initial 12 month contract ends?
At the end of the school term employment trial, AECOM will discuss with each employee the various options available to them. This could include making the role a permanent full-time or part-time role, or extending the role for another specific contract period. Depending on business demand, some roles may not continue past the initial 12-month fixed-term contract period.
Can I work part time during term time?
AECOM is open to discussing part-time opportunities. If a role was offered to you on a part-time basis, your pro-rated monthly salary offer would take this into account.