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The Council and Joint Consultative Committee Statement on Fair Work First

Fair Work First Commitment

The Plan for North Lanarkshire is to be the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit. The Council recognises that work is an important part of adult life and is critical to our wellbeing and shaping how we live. The Fair Work Convention’s Framework defines Fair Work as work that offers effective voice, fulfilment, opportunity, respect and security. We believe Fair Work can boost creativity, realise untapped potential and increase productivity. We are committed to advancing the Fair Work criteria of:

  • Providing effective channels for effective employee engagement;
  • Investing in workforce development;
  • Not using zero-hours contracts inappropriately;
  • Taking action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace;
  • Committing to paying the Real Living Wage;
  • Offering flexible and family-friendly working practices for all workers from day one of employment; and
  • Opposing the use of fire and rehire practice.

We will do this in a number of ways highlighted below:

1. We have effective channels for effective employee engagement.

  • We work with our recognised trade unions in key governance and decision-making structures including the Joint Consultative Committee. We have TU monthly updates and quarterly meetings between TUs and our Chief Executive.
  • We recognise trade unions across all employee groups for the purpose of collective bargaining and encourage membership.
  • We provide facility time to support regular engagement between our trade unions and their members.
  • We make available to trade union representatives, wherever possible, reasonable facilities necessary for them to carry out their duties efficiently and communicate effectively with their members.
  • We engage in constructive dialogue with our employees and their trade union representatives to address workplace issues and disputes.
  • We have an Employee Equality Forum that provides a mechanism between the Council and its employees to engage on equality matters.
  • Employees are offered supportive contact with their supervisor/ line manager.
  • We have policies and measures in place to ensure employees can raise concerns in the workplace on issue of bullying and harassment.
  • We regularly seek out the views and experiences of our employees on employment and related matters to be a more responsive and supportive employer.
  • We involve trade union representatives and members of the Employee Equality Forum in our working groups.

2. We invest in workforce development

  • The Council’s Talent and Organisational (TOD) team provide a raft of training opportunities for employees to meet both their personal and professional development needs.
  • The establishment of the online portal LearnNL gives all employees easy access to the whole menu of training and development opportunities available. 
  • We are committed to developing future leaders through our Leadership Academy.
  • Our Graduate Apprenticeship scheme provides work-based learning opportunities where employees can work towards a degree level qualification whilst in work.
  • We provide Modern Apprenticeships and other opportunities for young people to gain work experience.
  • Formal and informal learning is offered and encouraged across the workforce, relating to specific roles as well as wider development.
  • We regularly survey staff about health and wellbeing matters to inform policy priorities and development.

3. We do not use zero-hours contracts inappropriately

  • We do not use zero-hours contracts within the Council.
  • Casual workers are used when necessary but workers on these contracts are not obliged to accept work when this is offered.

4. We take action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace

  • We have achieved Bronze Standard in the Equally Safe at Work employer accreditation programme that addresses violence against women and girls through advancing workplace gender equality including tackling pay gaps.
  • We gather data to understand our workforce diversity and pay gap information.
  • We have signed up to the Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter and have appointed an Executive Sponsor for Race.
  • We are a Disability Confident Leader, encouraging the employment and retention of disabled people and those with health conditions as well as encouraging other employers to become Disability Confident.
  • We have a Reasonable Adjustment Protocol that ensures workplace adjustments for disabled employees are tailored to their specific individual needs.
  • We recognise our role as a Corporate Parent and support Care Experienced Young people into employment.
  • We are a signatory to the Armed Force Covenant and support opportunities for serving members of the armed forces and veterans.
  • We have action plans in place to advance gender, race and disability equality in our employment practices and workplaces.
  • We protect and promote the mental health and wellbeing of all employees through our mental health and wellbeing strategy.
  • We set out how all employees are expected to behave at work, creating a better working environment for all through our Employee Code of Conduct, Dignity at Work Policy and Equality and Diversity in Employment Policy.
  • We have an equality diversity and inclusion section on our MyJob Scotland portal setting out our commitments to being an inclusive and supportive employer.

5. We commit to paying the Real Living Wage

We are an accredited Living Wage employer; this is a clear commitment to pay at least the Living Wage for all staff we directly employ and for those who work on our contracts by actively encouraging employers to pay the Living Wage as part of a package of fair work practice in all relevant contracts.

6. We offer flexible and family-friendly working practices for all workers from day one of employment

  • We support flexible working across the Council, through our Smarter Working Policy, offering a wide range of flexible working patterns.
  • We have signed up to the Happy to talk Flexible Working logo and it is displayed on all job adverts.
  • Many employees work a hybrid workstyle - a blend of working from home and working in a council building.
  • We have many policies and procedures to support our employees at times when they need it. These include:
    • Part-time and term time working arrangements;
    • Carers Policy;
    • Job Share Policy;
    • Gender based Violence Policy;
    • Time off for Dependents;
    • Parental Leave;
    • Career Break;
    • Compassionate and other special leave; and
    • Time off for voluntary and other public duties.

7. We oppose the use of fire and rehire practice

  • We only consider effecting change where there is a legitimate business need to do so.
  • We are committed to working with our trade unions to ensure there is effective consultation and negotiation relating to change.
  • We have a Workforce Change policy that clearly outlines the processes and procedures that should be followed when effecting organisational change.

The NL Employer Charter

We have launched an NL Employer Charter that has been created to maintain and support a network of employers across North Lanarkshire who do business responsibly – enabling both employers and employees to benefit as the economy grows. It officially recognises North Lanarkshire businesses with high standards of excellence who generate employment and training opportunities as well as operating fair work practices.

Page last updated:
29 Jun 2023

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