Some companies in the UK are working hard to improve their employment standards. By doing this they can raise the quality of life for workers, keeping wages in line with the cost of living and offering routes to grow within an organisation. We’re going to be taking a look at one scheme, the Good Work Standard in more detail.
What is the Good Work Standard?
The Good Work Standard is a scheme that was started by the London Mayor’s office. The aim is to provide resources and training to organisations to make changes so that all the jobs they offer fall into the category of ‘good work’. The more businesses that sign up to the conditions of the Good Work Standard, the greater the standard of living for many people within a community. It also puts pressure on other businesses to raise their own standards to keep up.
Although this is currently just a London-based scheme, some reports believe that it will become a blueprint across cities in the UK. The Real Living Wage for example, is one of the elements of the Good Work Standard and there are many businesses across the UK that have signed up to it.
The four pillars of ‘good work’
Those that sign up to the Good Work Standard in London are expected to stick to four pillars that make up good standards of working.
- Fair pay & conditions
- Pay the London Living Wage, including for internships
- Offer benefits that support the cost of living, this could be discount of goods, ‘cycle to work’ schemes or childcare
- Limit the number of zero-hour contracts or self-employed contractors
- Workplace wellbeing
- Co-operate with staff to build shift patterns that work for them and compensate for unsociable hours and overtime
- Offer guaranteed or regular working hours in contracts
- Create dialogue between workers and leaders to make collaborative, better decisions
- Skills & progression
- Build clear progression pathways to develop skills in the workplace
- Offer official training from accredited sources
- Train those in management so that they can get the best out of their teams
- Diversity & recruitment
- Build a zero-tolerance environment for any forms of discrimination, bullying or harassment
- Businesses to publish and report on their gender pay gap
- Publish and report on disability and ethnicity pay gaps
- Actively seek to hire from a broad selection of applicants
Across the UK: housing & ‘good work’
Housing providers in the UK are getting involved as well. Brighton & Hove City Council and Hyde Housing have started building new homes in the city. In these new projects all the tenancies will set rent at 37.5% of the household income for those earning The Living Wage.
Looking for and choosing employers that join up to schemes like The Good Work Standard and The Living Wage means that not only will you be better off but you’ll be actively improving the standard of work in your community. In this environment, companies who don’t improve their working standards will find it harder to recruit and hold on to the best staff, which will of course, not work in the organisation’s favour.
To find registered Real Living Wage employers near you, take a look at this map.
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