Last year I set out my ambition to improve the world of work in Liverpool City Region, by asking businesses, staff, trade unions and others what made a good workplace and what should be included in Liverpool City Region’s first ever Fair Employment Charter.

Over recent months we have continued to engage with people about their experiences of work and I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved so far.

We have seen numerous examples of the positive employers and businesses that we have here in Liverpool City Region, but also heard that – for some people – work continues to be low paid and insecure.

This makes it difficult to budget or balance other commitments, whilst opportunities to progress can seem limited, or out of reach.

Working together we can change this.

Our exercise showed broad agreement on what good and fair work should look like;

  • Fair pay and fair hours
  • Inclusive workplaces that support staff to grow and develop
  • A voice for staff to help deliver justice in the workplace with opportunities available for young people and others

I know first-hand that many businesses across Liverpool City Region are offering all of the above and many go beyond these every day. I want our Fair Employment Charter to recognise those organisations that are already doing the right thing, whilst also encouraging and offering a pathway for others to learn, develop and improve.

Good work and workplaces are good for our happiness, our health and our productivity. Put simply, good work is good business, and our Charter can help drive this right across Liverpool City Region.

I also want the Combined Authority that I lead to play its part too. I pledge that we will meet the aims of the charter as an employer, whilst also using our services and spending power to encourage organisations to meet the goals that the charter will set out.

This consultation document is the next step on the journey to making Liverpool City Region the best place to work in the country.

We have outlined a structure that seeks to identify the key components of fair work, supports those who want to deliver it to do so, whilst recognising and rewarding organisations who often go beyond these requirements.

Please let us know whether you think our approach is the right one, and how you think we can best drive it forward in practice.

You can respond directly here or you may be able to feed in to the work many of our partners such as Trade Unions, Chambers of Commerce and our Growth Platform are doing to help us deliver a charter that works for all of the businesses and workers who want to be part of our movement for Fair Work locally.

Fairness, inclusivity and justice are at the heart of what Liverpool City Region is about.

Together we can make sure that these principles are at the heart of every one of our workplaces too.


FAIR


Fair pay and fair hours


A defined set of hours available to each worker, with minimal use of unstable and temporary contracts and flexible working to support productivity and wellbeing inside and outside of work


Fair pay and positive spend, offering Real Living Wage or above and a commitment to supporting local partnership and co-operation in Liverpool City Region


INCLUSIVE


Inclusive workplaces that support staff to grow and develop


A recognised Equality Policy representing all diversity strands and commitment to inclusivity and diversity in recruitment and retention


The chance to access training so that staff can perform, develop, and manage positively and effectively. Additionally, there should be procedures to recognise and support performance that involve and are supported by staff.


JUST


A voice for staff delivering justice in the workplace and opportunity for young people


An independent voice for staff in the workplace with Trade Union recognition and membership encouraged and valued


Building a fair future through opportunities , apprenticeships and work experience for young people


Aspiring, Accredited, Ambassadors – a structure for a Fair Employment Charter

We believe that the above Commitments represent what a Fair, Inclusive and Just employer could look like. But we also know that in order to make Liverpool City Region the best place to work in the country, then we need to build a movement that supports and recognises those businesses and employers who share our aim and who want to be part of this journey.

Employers who wish to play their part in becoming part of a fairer, more inclusive, and just City Region are invited to join the Fair Employment charter as Aspiring members

We think that Aspiring members could be required to;

  • Give a public commitment to support the aims and values of the Fair Employment Charter – for example on a website or marketing materials
  • Recognise the importance of secure working, staff voice, fair pay and training in the workplace
  • Display their “Aspiring” commitment in the workplace for staff, partners and customers
  • Start work to audit their practices, moving them on a pathway to accreditation
  • Commit to meeting the membership requirements within an agreed timeframe

When employers are ready to progress we would then encourage them to become Accredited. We will agree a framework of measures which employers will need to achieve to become accredited and we hope the support provided to Aspiring employers will help them on the journey to accreditation

Accreditation to the Liverpool City Region Fair Employment Charter is a welcome display of a commitment to delivering fair and positive working practices. However, our commitment to fairness, inclusivity and justice has never stood still, and there are many examples of how employers can and do go beyond the commitments outlined in the charter.

Ambassadors for a Fairer, more inclusive and just city region

As well as welcoming businesses at the start of their Fairness journey, we also want to recognise those who are going the extra mile themselves and who are supporting other businesses to meet the charter’s requirements.

Ambassadors for our Fair Employment Charter will meet  the requirements when they are confirmed following consultation. They will also display a commitment to be a leading voice and proponent of the objectives of the charter, seeking to support fellow LCR businesses, whilst also working to narrow the gaps and remove the barriers that continue to mean that our economy is not accessible or inclusive to some.

They could use their accredited status as a platform to:

  • Provide support via case studies or similar to promote the scheme
  • Demonstrate a commitment to recognising other Charter holders in procurement and spend – e.g. by supporting LCR-CA Community Wealth Building Approach
  • Support other businesses in doing so – e.g. through mentoring and best practice sharing
  • Display or develop best practice in training, inclusivity, and diversity, including by proactively working to “narrow the gaps”
  • Recognise a Trade Union for collective bargaining purposes (whilst understanding that for some businesses formal recognition may not be the only way to demonstrate commitment)

In return, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will celebrate and promote the achievements of those accredited members who have done the most to ensure that our Fair Employment Objectives are met, and spread across LCR

Our Fair Employment charter is a journey – so we’ll invite all accredited members to tell us about their achievements in 12 months time, and ask those who have displayed best and innovative practice to become Ambassadors.