Employers and employees asked to help develop West Yorkshire’s ‘Fair Work Charter’

Today marks the launch of a major public consultation that will inform and develop a Fair Work Charter for West Yorkshire.

Fair Work Charter Consultation Launch

Today (11th March 2022) marks the launch of a major public consultation that will inform and develop a Fair Work Charter for West Yorkshire.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, is asking employers, employees, and other organisations across West Yorkshire to #TellTracy about their views on work, and what fair work could mean for them.

The Charter aims to promote, encourage and support employers to meet aspects of fair work that will recognise and deliver good pay, fair and flexible working conditions, and promote greater wellbeing, diversity, and social mobility within the region’s workplaces.

Too many people are working in poor quality jobs

  • 29% of West Yorkshire employees, or 271,000 people, are in jobs that don’t meet the ONS definition of Good Work.

There are big pay gaps between different groups of workers

  • For example, there is a gender pay gap of 12% in average earnings in the region, and two thirds of companies in West Yorkshire have no female representation at director level.

Not enough of our working age people are in employment

  • West Yorkshire’s employment rate is 74%, compared with 77% nationally.
  • And for some groups the picture is much worse - the overall employment rate gap for ethnic minorities in West Yorkshire is 18 percentage points and that for people with disabilities is 23 points.

The consultation will seek views and feedback from as many perspectives as possible, including stakeholders, employers, employees, and wider communities. This will ensure the Charter is relevant and meaningful to the widest range of employers across our region, from micro businesses with just a few employees, to large corporate organisations, employing hundreds, or thousands of workers.

Prior to the consultation launch, Mayor Brabin brought together an expert steering group to help drive and deliver the Charter. The group brings together and represents a range of interests including employees, employers of all sizes and special interest groups relating to public health, faith and ethics, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, and best employment practices.

They will support the consultation by helping to generate feedback from these key audiences and will use the responses received to develop and propose a final version of the Charter over the months ahead.

The consultation will be primarily conducted via the Combined Authority’s Your Voice consultation and engagement website.

The introduction of a Fair Work Charter for West Yorkshire is one of my Mayoral pledges. This consultation is the next step in its evolution.

Tracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, commented:

“The introduction of a Fair Work Charter for West Yorkshire is one of my Mayoral pledges and I have called on experts in regional business, the public sector, trade unions, and community leaders to join my steering group and begin the Charter’s development. This consultation is the next step in its evolution.

“I am deeply committed to ensuring that the economic recovery is, above all, fair and just. A Fair Work Charter will aim to set the standards we expect for fair work in West Yorkshire. To recognise good employment practices and encourage their wider adoption is paramount, so that we create inclusive pathways to employment, support wellbeing in the workplace, and recognise and represent the voice of all employees.“

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Business, Economy and Innovation Committee said:

“Our region’s economic recovery has been faster than predicted, thanks to West Yorkshire’s creative, dynamic, and resilient businesses. We’re now making progress with new ways of working and new ambitions, so we want to ensure Fair Work is at the heart of what we all do in the future.

“I’m delighted that so many stakeholders will have the opportunity to give their views during this consultation.

“Their views and opinions will be extremely helpful as we continue the development of a Fair Work Charter for West Yorkshire.”

Chair of West Yorkshire’s Fair Work Charter Steering Group, and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Board Diversity Champion, Kate Hainsworth said:

“I would encourage as many people as possible to take the opportunity to shape the future of work in West Yorkshire by contributing to this consultation so that we can understand the challenges employers and employees face. This will ensure that Charter will take a region-wide approach to Fair Work that can be meaningful and successful for everyone.”

“It’s vital that equality of opportunity, good working conditions, fair pay and workplace wellbeing is at the heart of our region’s recovery from the pandemic. The Fair Work Charter will help businesses deliver these and ensure everyone in West Yorkshire benefits.”

The West Yorkshire Fair Work Charter consultation begins today.

More details of the consultation can be seen via our consultation webpage.