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UBDS a proud Supporter of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter

Samantha Durkin
8 September, 2023

We are pleased to announce that we’re a supporter of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter – the first of its kind in the UK.

The charter aims to improve employment standards across Greater Manchester by promoting seven characteristics of good employment: secure work, flexible work, real living wage, excellent people management, workplace engagement and voice, excellent recruitment and progression, and a healthy and productive workplace.

As a supporter of the charter, we are committed to making a difference in our employees’ lives by elevating employment standards in these key areas. We believe that good employment is not only good for our employees, but also good for our business and good for our society.

Why do we need the charter?

There remain some significant issues with the quality of work in Greater Manchester (GM). These include:

Unstable low-paid work is on the rise: According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, 8.5% of workers in Greater Manchester are paid below the real living wage, which is higher than the national average of 7.9%. Moreover, 6.1% of workers in Greater Manchester are on zero-hours contracts, which is also higher than the national average of 5.4%.

Cost of living is greater than wages: The cost of living in Greater Manchester has increased by 14% since 2010, while wages have only increased by 9%. This means that many workers are struggling to make ends meet and are facing financial hardship and insecurity.

Accessibility and flexibility not offered in roles leads to lack of diversity: Many employers do not offer flexible working arrangements or reasonable adjustments for staff with disabilities or health conditions. This limits the opportunities for people from different backgrounds and circumstances to access and progress in work. It also reduces the diversity and inclusion of the workforce, which can affect innovation and productivity.

The Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter is a voluntary scheme which has been created to address these issues and to:

  • Help deliver good jobs with opportunities for people to progress and develop
  • Contribute to a thriving and productive local economy in the city region
    Work alongside other standards and accreditations to recognise employers
  • Engage with all GM organisations at no cost to employers

What does it mean to be a supporter of the charter?

Being a supporter of the charter means that we share the vision and values of the charter. The criteria set out the minimum standards that have been developed through a process of co-production to set aspirations for excellence.

Some examples of how we are meeting the criteria include:

Extending secure work - we commit to provide our employees with clear and consistent work hours and avoid using unnecessary types of insecure employment, so they can have more income stability and balance their work and personal commitments better.

Extending flexible work - we will allow employees the opportunity to work flexibly where possible, providing greater equality of opportunity, creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace and helping us to make better use of the skills and talents of our workforce.

Pay - so our employees can attain a decent living standard and that we, as employers, can benefit from improved retention and workforce engagement. We will pay or aim to pay the real living wage set at the level recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

Improving workplace engagement and employee voice - so that our employees can fully contribute to the direction and success of our organisation and shape their roles, building effective employee engagement activity and with support from relevant professional bodies.

Developing excellent recruitment practices - so we as employers can take full advantage of the diversity and talents across all Greater Manchester communities through transparent, inclusive and fair processes, engaging with schools, further education and higher education providers and employment programmes, making sure our employees have opportunities to continually develop and use their skills and experience.

Improving people management - we value all our employees and will develop fair and inclusive workplaces, investing in the training and development of the workforce, including managers, and inspiring and motivating employees to make sure we are a successful and high performing organisation.

Promoting employee health and wellbeing - we support the mental and physical health of all our employees, including adjustments for people with long-term conditions and disabilities, delivering high standards of health and safety in the workplace, and so reducing the costs of absences and providing the benefits of a more diverse workforce.

Why did we decide to become a supporter of the charter?

We decided to become a supporter of the charter because we believe in the benefits of good employment for our employees, our customers, our partners and our community. We want to be part of a network of employers who share the same vision and values and who are committed to improving employment standards across Greater Manchester.

How can you find out more about the charter?

If you are interested in finding out more about the charter, you can visit their website here.

We are proud to be a supporter of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter and hope you will join us in supporting this important initiative that aims to make Greater Manchester a better place to work and live.

Samantha Durkin
Samantha Durkin
Head of Marketing

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