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Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram Launches the Liverpool City Region’s First Fair Employment Charter

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram will launch the Liverpool City Region’s first Fair Employment Charter at an online event today (Tuesday, 9 February, 2021). He will urge employers across the city region to sign up as fair employers, who pay staff the Real Living Wage and offer more avenues to training and progression.

Developed in partnership with over 300 local employers of all sizes, trade unions and workers, the Charter is designed to promote businesses who offer secure, properly paid jobs and treat staff well. It will also work with aspiring businesses to help them take steps to improve their own practices.

The charter has the backing of the national trade union body, the TUC, which represents around 5.5 million workers across the country. TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, will also address today’s event.

Approval of the Fair Employment Charter by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority fulfils a manifesto commitment made by Mayor Rotheram before his election in 2017.

Speaking about the Fair Employment Charter, Steve Rotheram said:

“Our Fair Employment Charter is central to the work we’re doing to make our region the fairest, most inclusive region possible. This agenda is now more important than ever as we look towards rebuilding our economy in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

“Since the start of the pandemic we have done all we can to keep our businesses afloat. We introduced a £40 million emergency fund and have given grants to 1700 businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors, and within their supply chains. And we’ll always try to support local businesses whenever we can.

“But we also have to support our workers as well. The pandemic has highlighted the key role that workers in logistics, retail, and health and social care play in keeping our society functioning.  We need to ensure that they, and everyone else, are fairly rewarded and able to work in conditions that don’t put their health at risk.

“A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work in safe, decent conditions should be the minimum any of us should expect in our working lives, and the great bulk of our employers in the city region already deliver that.  Our charter is about recognising the good employers and seeking to persuade the rest to do the decent thing.

“If you are an employer in the Liverpool City Region, we want to work with you. Whether you’re already doing good work, or you’d like to get better, through our charter we want your help to make our region the best place in the country to work.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“No matter what job you do, we all deserve dignity at work. But too many workers are treated without respect – denied safety, security and fair pay.

“The Fair Employment Charter shows what is possible when politicians, employers and trade unions come together. It sets out a compelling vision of a city where working families all have a chance to thrive. And it can make the economy not only fairer, but stronger – a magnetic for good businesses.

“We hope Westminster is watching, because where the Liverpool City Region is leading the whole of the UK should follow.”   

Daphne Doody-Green, Head of CIPD Northern England, said:

“We are delighted to support this charter in encouraging fair and inclusive workplaces, which are fundamental to people’s wellbeing and development. As the professional body for HR and the people profession, we champion better work and working lives, and our wide range of resources and tools – on good quality work and employment – will help provide guidance for people professionals in getting involved in this movement to increase the availability of fair work across the Liverpool City Region.”

More than a quarter of the Liverpool City Region’s workforce, made up of those who live in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, earn less than the Real Living Wage with an estimated 19,000 workers on zero hours contracts.

The Fair Employment Charter has been developed following an extensive engagement exercise including businesses, staff, trade unions, and the public, who were asked about their experiences of work, what makes a good workplace and what they thought good and fair work should look like.

The final stage of development of the Fair Employment Charter has been guided by a Reference Group, made up of Trades Unions, Unions, CIPD, ACAS, community and voluntary sector and both public and private employers. 

Throughout the development process, there has been clear support for a Charter which celebrates fairness, inclusion and justice, and a strong focus on healthy workplaces. 

The accreditation process for the Charter has been designed so that employers can progress through levels, enabling them to show that they are working towards being a fair employer; becoming a fair employer; and then having exemplary practice in fair employment. 

The intention is to identify fair employment practices where they exist and celebrate them accordingly, and to build the broader movement of employers so that fair employment practices become even more of a norm within the City Region.

READ MORE: LFC Foundation launches Virtual Employability Programme

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