Agilent wants to be 'the best place to work on the planet'. It tries to help employees maintain a fast moving career balanced with other commitments, just like the company's juggler logo.
The firm was once part of the computer giant Hewlett Packard, but split to become independent in 1999. Now the world's leading designer and manufacturer of measurement, electronic and optical equipment, Agilent has five sites in the UK.
A factory at South Queensferry in West Lothian makes test and measurement products for the electronics industry, while the company also has chemical analysis groups and makes semi conductors for the telecoms industry at sites in Ipswich, Winnersh in Berkshire, Manchester and Swansea.
Agilent acknowledges that the past year has been difficult; more than 5% of employees have been made redundant in the past five years. However, employees praise the way the firm has handled hard times, backing a temporary 10% across the board pay cut to minimise layoffs. The firm has kept its excellent benefits. There are two athletics clubs, holiday cottages in England and Wales can be rented at greatly reduced rates and there are regular celebrations. Time off is flexible: 20 days can be taken in single days, half days or even hourly increments.
Leave of up to 12 months can be taken for family commitments with a guaranteed job at the same level on return. Some 83% of staff feel fairly paid and 70% feel they receive a fair share of profits. Unusually for a British firm, there is an on site nursery at the Scottish site for around 40 children.
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