The scheme was agreed by the staff and resulted in cost savings of £2m, reduced absence by 70% and improved quality.
Competition from overseas plants led to a need to reduce the cost of manufacture and address the issues associated with hiring temporary staff to cope with seasonal fluctuations in demand. Workshops and visits to other factories were organised to engage staff on the need for change and the benefits of an annualised hours system. The visits also clarified the issues to be addressed during implementation. Staff were engaged in the design of the shift rotas through structured workshops and by deploying managers directly onto the production lines to discuss and listen to employee concerns and ideas. A remuneration package was developed and agreed with employee representatives along with details of how those adversely affected would be treated. Meetings were held with national union officials to clarify the need for and approach to change. The scheme was successfully introduced and delivered the required benefits.