27th Jul 2012
Firm aims to help families juggle a work-life balance
One of Northern Ireland's largest employers is making it easier for parents to spend time with their children during the summer.
Firstsource Solutions has adopted a number of family-friendly policies to enable its employees to juggle a work-life balance more effectively.
The business process outsourcer, which has four contact centres in Belfast and Londonderry, employing over 2,000, says its new flexible working and term time options are proving popular with staff at all levels.
Firstsource's centres operate seven days a week between 8 am – 11 pm, with variable peak times according to client requirements, so a complex shift system is required to resource the required working hours.
Under the scheme an employee's shift pattern is changed to suit their home needs and the option is open to both full-time or part-time staff.
"With Firstsource's flexible working option an employee will still work a set amount of hours each week but the shifts can be adjusted to suit the individual's lifestyle," said Grainne O'Kane, HR manager from Firstsource.
"From a business perspective it allows us to forecast and plan staffing levels over the summer months well in advance as well as retain talented staff. This initiative has been particularly successful involving 400 people and it also encourages higher rates of staff attendance," said Grainne O'Kane
The term time flexible option allows parents who have children of school age to take extended time off work during the holidays. Term time is unpaid leave but can be combined with paid leave to extend their options.
Ms O'Kane added: "Employees are entitled to make one request per year to negotiate working hours. This isn’t always possible for some employers, but at Firstsource we have found many benefits from being flexible with staff and we try to help our staff with children to work around their childcare commitments.
"It also encourages employees to stay with Firstsource and gives us a wider selection of experienced staff to work with."