The Future of Work: The Good Work Charter
What is the Good Work Charter and what does it do?
The Good Work Charter is a voluntary membership and assessment scheme that aims to raise employment standards for all organisations of any size, sector, or geography.
The charter provides a framework that is set to support an increasing number of employers to better provide opportunities for employees to grow, develop and thrive in the workplace. It is also being used to increase employment standards across all sectors for the benefit of both the employed and their employers.
Why is the Charter important?
Economic growth is slowly growing in the UK and recognition that structural change is needed and overdue is clear.
The introduction of Good Work needs to be one of the changes put forward to reset the relationship between employer and employees which is underpinned by mutual gains.
The Good Work Charter is the future of work!
Why choose The Good Work Charter?
The adoption of the Good Work charter is to create harmonious relationships within your business. The focus is to create virtuous employment circles and help avoid the vicious circles that have a self-reinforcing positive and negative impact on business performance.
The Good Work Charter is also interested in addressing any short-term challenges your business may be facing. An issue a lot of businesses are currently facing is the ‘Great Resignation’ and as the UK is in a tight labour market with labour shortages and high vacancy rates due to the pandemic and Brexit, job hopping is becoming more common. So, becoming the best employer you can be and providing the best workplace for your employees is of high priority for all business owners.
What does Good Employer look like?
The Good Work Charter highlights seven essential characteristics of good employment, these are a commitment made by all members of the Good Work Charter. These are not only standards that all Charter members abide by, but they are also characteristics that ensure the comprehensive criteria of The Good Work Charter are demonstrated and met. Outlined here are the seven attributes for a Good Work Employer.
1. Secure Work:
Giving your employees security over their incomes through clear communication with regards to their contracts, hours of work etc, means that your staff are therefore given the ability to effectively manage their professional and private commitments with ease.
2. Flexible Work:
Enabling flexible working by designing jobs that can be done, wherever possible, during whatever times, in whichever way your employees feel suits them is a brilliant way of retaining your employees.
Your employees must have access to a clear flexible working policy which encourages working flexibility so they know what is expected of them and can request these conditions whenever they need them.
As an employer, we recommend paying your staff the real living wage as set out by the Living Wage Foundation and ensure all staff have entitlement to sick pay from day one of their absence.
4. Engagement and Voice:
Employee engagement and voice, building a confident, empowered workforce is one of the most important characteristics of a Good Work employer.
Involving your employees in decision-making and managing change through effective communication and consultation is crucial as a more involved workforce is a happier and more productive workforce.
Guaranteeing you have excellent recruitment practices which involve an inclusive and fair recruitment process that is accessible, shows equality and equity, supports the creation of a diverse workforce, and eliminates unconscious bias is bound to promote your business as an excellent place to work as well as retaining your talented workforce.
6. People Management:
Providing your employees with clear organisational values and expected behaviours in an environment free of harassment and bullying ensures excellent people management and development which is not only beneficial to your employees but to your business overall.
Ensuring that you focus on organisational development which means all staff are provided with training that enables them to perform effectively in their role and develop skills and experience that supports progression is fundamental.
7. Health and Wellbeing:
Actively supporting your employee’s health and wellbeing is a key characteristic of the Good Work Charter as employees who feel supported in this way have the ability then to thrive in a workplace where the appropriate adjustments are made, and the employee feels recognised.
Acknowledging that mental and general health and wellbeing need to be considered in relation to your business’s wider values and goals and that strategies need to be in place such as internal and/or external support is made available to facilitate ongoing discussion, training, and monitoring that is essential for all businesses.
Benefits of a Good Work Charter
The Good Work Charter is a direct major source of productivity and results, it has amazing benefits for employers such as:
– Network events
– Visible commitment to employees
– Access to resources
– Performance improvement
– A wide network of employers
There is already a Charter in Manchester that aims to raise employment standards across all of Greater Manchester. Despite the underlying economic strength within the city, there are issues surrounding its quality of work including wages not meeting the cost of living, the rise of low paid work and flexibility not offered in roles leading to a lack of diversity.
Therefore, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority approved the Charter framework in March of 2019 and as of January 2020, they have launched membership criteria and announced their first six members.
There is also a proposed charter in the Midlands, the aim of which is to strengthen the Midlands’ labour market, attract and retain the best talent and in turn create new opportunities for knowledge sharing and best practices in the workplace.
The Midlands Good Work Charter is a direct response to the post-covid economic recovery which will be done through improving labour market quality within the region. To help facilitate the development of a more co-ordinated and regional employment policy framework as has been done in Greater Manchester.
Overall, the Good Work Charter is being implemented to address the underlying issues on good work deficit, identifying that pay, working conditions, health and safety, work-life balance and right protection all need to be understood and communicated more effectively.
The impact of the movement is to improve lives by supporting employers to offer roles that provide better opportunities for their employees, contribute to the societal shift in the importance placed on value and quality of work and proving that treating people well is not just the ‘right’ thing to do but the ‘good’ thing to do.
Over 400 employers have already committed to being part of the Good Work Charter and 230,000 employees are covered by supporters and members of the Charter.
Are you interested in learning more about what ‘Good Work’ looks like and how as an employer you can be the best employer possible?
Contact a member of our team today to discuss it more, email [email protected] or call 01455 444 222.
A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.