The Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter celebrates its two-year anniversary

  • The Charter reaches over 450 employers. Including 180+ supporters covering more than 230,000 employees and now 29 full members

The Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter Supporters’ Network was launched on the 22nd of July 2019. To celebrate their two-year anniversary, they look back at the positive difference they have made across Greater Manchester, to both employees and employers.

The concept of a Good Employment Charter, to address the quality of work in the city region, was developed by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and other Leaders. With more than a fifth of jobs in the city region paying less than the real Living Wage and many others facing insecure work, it was clear that for many, wages were not meeting the basic cost of living. The Independent Prosperity Review, led by leading economists in the UK and US, recommended that the Charter should be used as a mechanism for raising productivity and wages.

The Charter brings employers together to learn about good employment practice and share their experiences. The Charter’s strengthened community is where employers from a variety of sectors recognise and discuss the way forward in adapting excellent employment standards.

Andy Burnham has also announced plans for Greater Manchester to become the UK’s first Living Wage City-Region. A new real Living Wage City-Region action group, headed by Local Enterprise Partnership chair Lou Cordwell, are setting out plans to achieve the aim of all jobs in the city-region paying the real Living Wage by 2030. The Good Employment Charter is a key tool in fulfilling this ambition.

Joanne Roney, GMCA Chief Executive Lead for Economy and Business, said: “We are incredibly proud that during these challenging times, Greater Manchester employers are focused on growing the good employment movement. Through the Charter more businesses are paying their employees a real living wage, improving security at work and, through these actions, improving productivity right across the city-region.  Greater Manchester is fast becoming a beacon of good employment for the whole country.”

Ian MacArthur, Director of the Good Employment Charter said: “The Charter Supporters’ Network has been pivotal in building the good employment community.”

In recent events, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Charter to deliver through the digital world. This presented new opportunities to deliver topical content, support, and different ways of engagement. The Charter has successfully held over c.30 events, attracting over 7,000 engaged participants. They continue to publish over 70 blog posts and thought-provoking content pieces and collaborate with industry leaders to highlight current issues or innovative practice. A new initiative for any Charter across the UK was also introduced. Series one of the Charter’s Good Employment Chatter podcast was released earlier this year, with eight episodes including key speakers. The podcast now sits comfortably in the top 35% of SME podcasts, as supported by industry statistics.

Over the past 12 months the Charter has grown by 125%, reaching over 450 employers. Including 180+ Charter supporters, covering more than 230,000 employees and now 29 full members. And as the city region emerges from recent restrictions, the principles of good employment are highlighted further. Good employers are beginning to realise the importance of those they employ and are building policies which support the wellbeing and development of their staff.

The Good Employment Charter’s evaluation

Earlier this year the Greater Manchester Independent Inequalities Commission (IIC) welcomed the Charter’s efforts, in partnership with the Equality Panels, to enhance their focus on equality and diversity, ensuring that employers implement good equalities practices. This will remain a constant in their work moving forward.

More recently, the Greater Manchester Marmot Review reflected that to ‘build back fairer’ the Charter offers important ways forward for improving the quality of work in Greater Manchester. But that those efforts to achieve improvements in the seven employment characteristics must be focussed on SMEs, low-income jobs, the gig economy, and large employers. These are challenges welcomed by the Charter.

Finally, the Charter’s interim evaluation report recently published by Manchester Metropolitan University concludes that Greater Manchester has succeeded in developing a functioning Good Employment Charter, which has been successful in engaging a good number of organisations and that there are emerging signs of positive impacts on employment practice and wider organisational benefits.

Ian MacArthur gives his thanks to the Charter team, the GMCA, Board Members and the Charter’s Supporters’ Network and comments: “Their commitment and willingness to share freely for the benefit of all, ensures that the good employment movement maintains momentum and will ensure Greater Manchester becomes a beacon in the country for good jobs and fair pay.”

To further understand the impact the Good Employment Charter has made and intends to make, please click here.

Article Published: 22/07/2021 11:46 AM