26 September 2023

Water jobs shifting to part-time trial

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Melbourne Water is to trial part-time operator arrangements for several backfill positions on short-term contracts as part of its pledge to test new approaches to work arrangements on site and remotely.

Team Leader of Infrastructure Operations at Melbourne Water, Nick Stuart said Water Operations was a vital component of the Supplier’s work to help ensure the community had access to world-class drinking water.

“The team are tasked with many responsibilities including monitoring water treatment and quality, and carrying out inspections of dams and our treatment plants,” Mr Stuart said.

“It’s a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job, often out in the field and, while that isn’t changing, the way the Operations team is managing its work load is,” he said.

“It’s an exciting change that aims to increase both diversity and staff retention.”

Mr Stuart said Melbourne Water had a strong foundation of flexible work arrangements and this latest trial under its Our New Ways of Working pledge built on that foundation.

The Team Leader said the Water Operations roster had previously been geared to full-time positions.

“We’ve gone to market actively advertising for part-time roles to share shifts and hours across the week and have been impressed by the talent we’ve attracted and how well the model is working,” he said.

“By actively promoting work-life balance and making concrete changes to how we configure the team across shifts, we will attract a wider pool of talent and more diversity and that’s always a good outcome.”

Mr Stuart said field workers often did not get the work-from-home benefits and the Supplier’s commitment to part-time options and sharing the load was allowing people to work flexibly and would ultimately help with the well-being and retention of staff.

“We want to grow this model and run with it,” he said.

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