Greater Manchester should be a place where people can fulfil their ambitions. That means making it a place where people want to live and work, whether they are setting up their own business or working as an employee.
While employment growth has been strong over recent years, too many of our residents are in low paid and insecure roles with little opportunity to progress: an issue highlighted by the pandemic. As many employers will testify, engaging employees brings significant benefits: lower turnover of staff, a more motivated and dedicated workforce, and new insights, ideas and perspectives to help an organisation succeed. The evidence is that businesses that support and invest in their employees are more profitable, add more value, and are better respected.
Excellent employment practice also helps Greater Manchester succeed. The opportunity to progress through secure and fulfilling work brings health as well as financial benefits. Higher pay reduces poverty and the social deprivation which it brings. It gives young people hope and confidence that Greater Manchester offers them the opportunity to succeed.
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The Good Employment Charter is a voluntary membership and assessment scheme, which aims to elevate employment standards in Greater Manchester (GM). Guidance for reopening the workplace with Good Employment in mind, including government guiding principles, essential resources and support from partner organisations.
It is built around the following themes:
- Secure work - Research by Citizen’s Advice (CA) suggests some four and a half million people in England and Wales are in insecure work. Their work states that over 2.3 million people are working variable shift patterns, with an additional 1.1 million people on temporary contracts and further 800,000 are on zero hour or agency contracts.
- Real Living Wage - According to the Living Wage Foundation, 93% of companies reported they had gained as a business after becoming a Real living wage employer.
- Inclusive recruitment - Employers that have fair and flexible working and recruitment practices are more productive, and more innovative. For further recruitment support post Covid-19 visit Employ GM.
- Employee health and wellbeing - The mental and physical wellbeing of Greater Manchester’s workforce is fundamental to the development of good employment across the city region.
- Flexible work - While the statutory right to request flexible working may have helped make flexible working a familiar phrase within workplaces, flexible working arrangements have been an option in many employment sectors for a long time, helping employers meet the changing needs of their customers and their staff. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, flexible working can be the norm, but must we well managed across both place and time.
- Engagement and voice - Workforce engagement and voice is an important aspect of good employment. Supporting an independent mechanism for employee voice is seen to have a central role in improving productivity, in tackling insecurity and in promoting the psychological well-being and job satisfaction of employees.
- People management - Excellent people management is increasingly seen as a vehicle to secure organisational success and is often at the heart of an organisation’s values.
Signposting your employees and volunteers to local housing and financial advice, including access to early help via Citizens Advice Greater Manchester.
Share information about the Money and Pensions service ‘Money Helper’ tool. It covers a range of financial information and support and more importantly it’s kept up to date: MoneyHelper - The Money and Pensions Service.
Actively promote the Credit Union Savings Scheme to employees to encourage regular saving and ethical lending.
Provide information about Pension Credit for employees to share with their families or plan for retirement. Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income. Pension Credit can also help with housing costs such as ground rent or service charges. £millions go unclaimed every year.
Help your employees to check if their children can get free school meals in England and find out how to apply on their local authority’s website.
Support your employees to access Stay Nimble, an award-winning career coaching and learning social enterprise, to deliver free one-to-one online career coaching to Greater Manchester residents aged 50+ who are currently in receipt of any out of work or in-work benefit, through their new Thrive programme.
Make employees aware of Healthy Start (employees working only a few hours may be eligible, as are some under 18s, or employees may have family members who are eligible).
Use tips from the Greater Manchester Wellbeing Toolkit (PDF, 2.3MB), recently published by the Health and Social Care Partnership
The Greater Manchester Mental Health Toolkit for Employers has been created to help organisations – whether business, public sector or charitable – support the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. The toolkit provides an evidence-based framework focused on positive actions, to build a culture that champions good mental health and provides a greater understanding of how to help those who need more support.
Use and implement ideas from the recently launched Age Friendly Employer Toolkit.
Use the GM Poverty Action’s Poverty Monitor Tool within the workplace.
Celebrate 'history months' in the workplace, for example Gypsy Roma Traveller history month. On the Friends, Families and Travellers website there are helpful packs you can download for different sectors and industries
Greater Manchester has set a goal of becoming the first city-region to pay all employees a real Living Wage. Find out more about the things that you could get involved in.
Millions of low paid workers are also struggling to get the hours they need to make ends meet, so explore how you can ensure and seek accreditation for Real Living Hours from the Living Wage Foundation.