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LCR FAIR EMPLOYMENT CHARTER PLAIN TEXT

Foreword

A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Thomas Carlyle wrote those words in 1843, but they could just as easily have been written by campaigners today. We have, of course, made massive strides forward since then. The introduction of the 48-hour week, sick pay and the minimum wage have all improved conditions for workers, but we still have a way to go.

Our region has a long and proud history as a place that stands up for the greater good. From Kitty Wilkinson and Eleanor Rathbone to modern day campaigners like Gee Walker and the Fans Supporting Foodbanks movement, we are always at the forefront of doing the right thing. We are a not place that follows the crowd,

preferring instead to do things differently and blaze our own trail. I always like to say that where the Liverpool City Region leads, the rest of the country follows.

That is what our Fair Employment Charter is all about: making our region be the fairest, most equitable place in the country to work or run a business in.

It is not just about embarrassing unscrupulous employers – and we have seen too many of those during the Coronavirus pandemic – but helping to take them on a journey to better employment practices.

Just as importantly, it is about shining a light on and promoting good employers who do the right things: paying the Real Living Wage, clamping down on the insecure work or zero hours contracts, offering a real seat at the table to trade unions and giving staff opportunities to progress and thrive.

This charter has been a long time in the making. We have worked closely with trade unions, employers of all sizes and staff themselves to ensure that it reflects the needs, wants and priorities of staff and bosses alike.

If you are an employer in the Liverpool City Region we want to work with you.

Whether you’re already doing good, or you’d like to get better, we’re here to help

you be the best employer possible.

Steve Rotheram
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Background

The principle of fair day’s wage for a fair day’s pay has been enshrined within the social contract between employers and employees for a long time. However, in recent years there has been an erosion of that social contract with the introduction of employment approaches, such as exploitative zero hours contracts, that have seen the balance tilt more in favour of employers than employees.

In recognition of this, the Mayor’s election manifesto contained a commitment to establish a Fair Employment Charter for Liverpool City Region, which would celebrate fair employment practices where they were in place and drive-up standards elsewhere. The intention was to recognise good quality and effective practice in fair employment and build the broader case amongst other employers for them to consider changing their practices.

An initial consultation on this took place in 2018, and this was followed up by further consultations in Spring and Autumn 2020: in total, over 300 respondents have provided feedback on what they consider fair employment to be and what should be included within a Charter. The final consultation in Autumn 2020 ensured the Charter reflected how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world of work for many and ensured a special focus on health and safety – both in our workplaces and homeworking spaces.

The final stage of this development has been guided by a Reference Group made up of representatives from Trades Unions, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Acas, and employers from across the public, private, community and voluntary sectors. This has helped to ensure that the final Charter will have been considered broadly and is therefore more likely to be able to be effectively implemented.

Fair Employment Charter: Healthy

Healthy workplaces are productive workplaces that are safe for those working in them, whilst recognising the importance of mental and physical health inside and outside of the workplace.

We commit to safe workplaces supporting a healthy workforce:

We will do this by…

We will do this by; A commitment to ensuring a safe and healthy working environment whether in the workplace, on the road or in the home
Aspiring Demonstrate compliance with baseline H&S requirements. Audit homeworking and other policies and engage workforce in developing approach
Accredited Meet ACAS guidance on safe working.

A dedicated Homeworking and/or travel policy. Demonstrate commitment to specific H&S work for example measures to keep staff and customers COVID safe.

We will do this by…

We will do this by; Understanding the importance of Mental and Physical health to wellbeing and productivity. Flexible working available to support work-life balance and community or caring commitments
   
Aspiring Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of mental health in the workplace.

Audit practices to comply with fair hours approach

Accredited Dedicated workplace Mental Health Policy with employees supported to identify and access available and appropriate services

Compliance with Fair pay and fair hours requirements

Fair Employment Charter: Fair

Fairly paid, secure work is the foundation of good work and good workplaces.

We commit to Fair pay and fair hours:We will do this by…

We will do this by…

We will do this by; 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
Aspiring Audit practices to identify any atypical contracts and consider how and whether they are needed.
Accredited Meet ACAS code of practice on handling Flexible Working Requests

Take measures to minimise unnecessary use of unstable and temporary contracts outside of defined and specific circumstances, including regular

reviews of these contract types, defined notice periods for working hours and referencing flexible working in job adverts

We will do this by; Fair pay, offering Real Living Wage or above and a commitment to supporting local partnership and co-operation in Liverpool City Region
Aspiring Identify those paid below Real Living Wage and put plans in place to work towards achieving the level of Real Living Wage
Accredited Pay Real Living Wage or above to employees, and work with defined contractors in identifying and planning achievable actions to develop a plan to pay Real Living Wage for this defined group

Fair Employment Charter: Inclusive

Good businesses and a successful economy can only be built if the talents of all are recognised and supported, barriers understood and removed, and talent maximised.

We commit to Inclusive workplaces that support staff to grow and develop:

We will do this by; A recognised Diversity Equality and Inclusion Policy representing all Protected characteristics and proactive commitment to inclusivity and diversity in recruitment and retention
Aspiring Undertake an Equality Audit of staff and work towards improvements
Accredited Meet ACAS guidance on E&D

Give evidenced examples of action taken to improve equality, diversity and inclusion which may include targeted recruitment, creating career pathways, and promoting staff voice through support networks

We will do this by The chance to access training so that staff can perform, develop and manage positively and effectively with procedures to recognise and support performance that involve and are supported by staff
Aspiring Plan to meet ACAS guidance on appropriate performance management and training policies
Accredited Meet ACAS Guidance. A Training plan which includes organisational induction and ensures all staff and managers receive appropriate training during paid time to enable them to do their job effectively, with development opportunities to support aspirations for progression

Fair Employment Charter: Just

Workplaces that offer opportunities for all, a collective voice for all staff, and support the next generation to prosper underpin a more just present and an even better future for Liverpool City Region.

We commit to a voice for staff to help deliver justice in the workplace with opportunities available for young people:

We will do this by; An independent voice for staff in the workplace with Trade Union recognition and membership encouraged and valued
Aspiring Inform staff of their right to join a Trade Union and be willing to offer fair access to Trade Unions
Accredited Engage with Trade Unions representing their staff and respond to requests for recognition where this does not exist
We will do this by; Building a fair future through opportunities, apprenticeships and work experience for young people
Aspiring Offer work experience where possible and actively consider the benefits of apprenticeships or similar opportunities for young people
Accredited Have a policy on work experience with a record of delivering opportunities for young people, and delivering apprenticeships where this is appropriate

Join our movement

By joining our movement you’ll send a strong message to staff, customers, partners, and the public that your organisation is committed to the principle of fair employment and wants to play its part in building a healthy, fair, inclusive, and just Liverpool City Region.

We also believe that engagement with Charter can demonstrate key social value actions and commitments often necessary when applying to access funding and other opportunities to help your organisation grown and develop.

Any organisation – big or small – based within the Liverpool City Region can get involved. All we ask is that you share our commitment and our understanding of what fair employment is, and are willing to work with us on highlighting, developing and delivering this locally.

You can apply to be a member of our Fair Employment Charter, or get information and guidance about your application, by emailing fairemployment@liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk

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