Northern Mayors stand shoulder to shoulder on commitment to fair working standards

Today, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, joined with her fellow northern metro mayors to begin development of a Fair Work Charter for the region.

Northern Mayors stand shoulder to shoulder on commitment to fair working standards 

Today, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, joined with her fellow northern metro mayors to begin development of a Fair Work Charter for the region.  

Existing Charters have been developed in Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region, dedicated to levelling-up through encouraging good pay, fair and flexible working conditions and promoting diversity and social mobility within the workforce. The discussions today build on work previously started by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. 

Meeting at the University of Bradford, Mayors Tracy Brabin, Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram began discussions with key stakeholders in West Yorkshire to develop the Charter and ensure maximum alignment across the north.

The resulting Fair Work Charter will be developed in the coming months by a dedicated steering group of key stakeholders and in consultation with partners and employers. The group will develop the criteria for membership of the West Yorkshire Charter, to ensure suitability for all types of employers in the region including SMEs across all sectors including third sector organisations. 

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has committed up to £600,000 in principle over the next three years to develop and implement the Fair Work Charter. 

 

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: “In my Manifesto I committed to implementing a Fair Work Charter within my first year in office, and I am delighted to be able to take this agenda forwards today and say that we are committed to launching a Charter that promotes fair work in our region within six months. 

The Charter will set the standards we expect for good work in West Yorkshire, reducing in-work poverty, boosting health and wellbeing, and promoting greater economic inclusion for our disadvantaged groups and communities. 

Implementing the ambition of a Charter also makes good business sense. We know the economic impact that promoting workforce diversity can have on a region including increased productivity and boosted revenue and innovation. For businesses committing to fair work it’s a win-win situation. 

It is vital that we get this right to aid economic recovery from the pandemic and levelling up for all, which is why I am pleased to be starting this important work today, taking key learnings from my regional counterparts and understanding the needs of our stakeholders and partners to develop a Charter that works for all.” 

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “Greater Manchester was proud to launch its Good Employment Charter two years ago.  We believe that economic progress and social progress go hand in hand and our Charter is a key part of making that happen.  The Charter has already positively impacted over 230,000 employees in our city-region and is helping us in our ambitions to become the UK’s first Living Wage city-region.   

‘We’re very pleased to be working with Mayor Tracy Brabin and other West Yorkshire colleagues on their Fair Work Charter, as we have been doing with Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. Devolution gives us the chance to do things differently and by working together I believe the north can become a beacon for good employment.”  

Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said: “Fair pay and secure work in a safe and suitable workplace is the minimum that anyone should expect in this day and age. Working with our trade unions, I launched my Fair Employment Charter to try and ensure that more workers across the Liverpool City Region have access to these basic rights.  

“The pandemic has shown that, too often, too many workers doing vital work aren’t treated as well as they should be. It’s fantastic that Tracy is joining Andy and I in working to raise the bar. By working together, we are much, much stronger. How fantastic would it be if we could make the whole North a beacon of better workers’ rights?” 

Sir Roger Marsh OBE DL Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the NP11, said: “Commitment from employers to ensure fair work is taken seriously in the region is welcomed across all sectors. Businesses understand the importance of ensuring fair pay and good working conditions for staff, as well as achieving diversity and equality of opportunities within the workforce.  

‘Business engagement is crucial to the success of the Charter, to ensure the model works across all sectors, and the LEP is delighted to be involved in discussions with stakeholders to shape the Charter in the coming months.”

Find out more about the Fair Work Charter and sign up for email updates