Work & Wages

Report on GM Living Wage week November 11th – 17th 2019

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This year’s Living Wage Week was a busy one for the GM Living Wage Campaign as we were involved in activities and events across Greater Manchester with partners and supporters.

GM Living Wage Campaign Living Wage Week Good Employment Charter for GM Poverty Action

Chris Smallwood, Martha Crawford and John Hacking

On Wednesday November 13th we ran a joint briefing event with The Good Employment Charter Implementation Unit at Salford Museum. The event was attended by over 25 employers who are supporters of the Greater Manchester Employment Charter and featured presentations on the benefits of the Living Wage from the GM Living Wage Campaign, Martha Crawford from the Living Wage Foundation and Chris Smallwood, MD of the Salford-based Living Wage Employer Anchor Removals. A blog on the Good Employment Charter website gives more information about the event.

At the Living Wage Foundation’s launch event in Salford on November  11th, Salford was recognised for its ambition to be England’s first accredited Living Wage Place. GM Living Wage Campaign is a member of Salford’s Living Wage Place Action group and a sponsor of the Living Wage bid. At the event there was the welcome announcement of Manchester City Council and Oldham Council becoming the latest GM local authorities to become Living Wage Employers. There was a commitment from Manchester City Council to take the next step to becoming a Living Wage Place and the GM Living Wage Campaign has been asked by Manchester City Council to work with them to achieve this objective.

On November 13th we partnered with Boo Consulting, a Living Wage Employer in Bolton to hold a Living Wage networking session. We attended the event along with 10 Bolton employers, some of whom are already  Living Wage Employers and others who wanted to know more. The event was a great success and we will be working with colleagues in Bolton to work towards Bolton becoming a Living Wage Place.

GM Living Wage Campaign Living Wage Week Tony 'Longfella' Walsh for GM Poverty Action

Tony ‘Longfella’ Walsh

We also ran an extensive social media campaign to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of paying the real Living Wage. The campaign celebrated accredited employers and featured key GM figures photographed showing their commitment to the campaign for the Living Wage. We had a range of supporters from local authorities, trade unions, voluntary and community sector organisations and private business. We also had a pledge of support from Manchester poet Tony Walsh aka Longfella. The hashtag #GMLivingWage was widely used through the week on Twitter. We also shared information through our social media networks, to support the action taken by GM Citizens at Stockport Town Hall to lobby Stockport Council to become a Living Wage Employer.

If you want any more information about Living Wage Week in particular or the GM Living Wage Campaign in general then email the GM Living Wage Campaign Coordinator John Hacking

Follow the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign on Twitter and Facebook

 

 

i3oz9sReport on GM Living Wage week November 11th – 17th 2019
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Poverty, Destitution and Explotation

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Understanding the vulnerabilities of people homeless and rough sleeping to modern slavery
by Tom Madden, STOP THE TRAFFIK

Exploitation is an under-reported but inextricable aspect of poverty. Traffickers are professionals at turning vulnerable peoples’ desires for a better life into profit through the most vicious kinds of exploitation. While other elements of extreme poverty have been studied in great detail in the UK and around the world, the links between chronic poverty and exploitation are less well understood.

In the media and in public conversation, trafficking and exploitation are often portrayed as crimes that mostly effect people from outside the UK. Whether recent arrests of the Czech sex trafficking ring in Levenshume and Gorton or the tragedy of the 39 Vietnamese nationals found dead in the back of a Lorry in Essex. What is often missing from the reporting is that in the UK, there are three times more minors exploited from the UK than any other nationality and UK adults are the 4th most frequently exploited demographic. Vulnerability to exploitation does not depend on the country you live in, but on the leverage traffickers can use to control and manipulate people for a profit. With the UK’s social safety net stripped in the wake of austerity since 2010, 14 million people living below the poverty line and 1.5 million destitute across the country, the number of people vulnerable to exploitation is huge.

One of the most vulnerable groups in the UK are people who are homeless or rough sleeping. Despite decreases in the numbers of people with no place of safety in Greater Manchester following the concentrated efforts of housing schemes like A Bed Every Night, the problem remains significant and the number of people who are vulnerable to exploitation remains high. Previous research has demonstrated links between homelessness, rough sleeping and a vulnerability to trafficking and exploitation. The Passage in London 2017 report found that 64% of homelessness organisations have encountered modern slavery. The Modern Slavery Helpline reports that 276 cases connect modern slavery to homelessness. In addition, the links between rough sleeping and a vulnerability to trafficking have been illustrated in numerous case studies.

Specifically, Human Trafficking Foundation and Greater Manchester Combined Authority identified attributes which increase rough sleepers’ vulnerability including:

•  A history of mental health issues
•  Alcohol and drug dependency needs
•  Former asylum seeker status
•  Having no recourse to public funds

Between January and March 2019, STOP THE TRAFFIK circulated a survey aiming to understand the experiences of being targeted for exploitation from people who were rough sleeping, homeless, or accessing homeless services across Greater Manchester. Extensive findings from the survey are presented in a full report.

The survey revealed that out of the 180 respondents:
•  29% had experienced being offered food, accommodation, drugs or alcohol in return for work
•  32% had witnessed or heard of it happening to someone else
•  21% had concerns over how safe or genuine these offers were
•  22% had warned someone, or been warned, not to take job offers from particular people or groups
•  17% had known someone go missing after taking up an offer of work
•  24% had not been paid wages that were promised to them after doing work

The report also includes quotes which viscerally characterise the exploitation taking place in the region every day:

“[People offer food, accommodation, drugs or alcohol to me] all the time – everyone who is rough sleeping gets asked to sex work or prostitute themselves”

“[I was] bullied… for not shoplifting. My feet was burnt down and I was thrown in the canal”

Tom Madden Stop the Traffik for GM Poverty Action

Tom Madden, Community Data Analyst for STOP THE TRAFFIK

Having demonstrated the existence of the problem, STOP THE TRAFFIK and GMCA are collaborating on a second stage of the research and a multi-agency response to the issue. We will build a network of organisations working to support homeless and rough sleeping people across Greater Manchester and collate their understandings of the exploitation occurring in the communities that they support. We will then disseminate this shared learning, through training, awareness campaigns and literature to transform Greater Manchester’s understanding and preventative strategy towards the exploitation to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

If you would like any more information about the report or would like to get involved in the upcoming preventative projects combatting exploitation in Greater Manchester, please get in touch by email.

More information about STOP THE TRAFFIK

 

i3oz9sPoverty, Destitution and Explotation
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UC & in-work conditionality

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Universal Credit and In-Work Conditionality – the employers view
by Katy Jones, Centre for Decent Work and Productivity, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Universal Credit – the new working age benefit for people who are unemployed or on a low income – potentially involves the introduction of “in-work conditionality” (IWC), placing responsibilities on individual claimants to increase their earnings (e.g. through increasing their hours/earnings in their current place of work or by taking up additional or alternative jobs elsewhere). These expectations may be backed up by support (e.g. through advice from Jobcentre staff), but also by benefit sanctions if individuals do not comply with mandatory work-related requirements.

Whist additional support for low-income workers is welcome, the extension of IWC (and sanctions) to those in work is controversial. Research focusing on claimant experiences has raised questions about the extent to which IWC results in meaningful in-work progression, and has uncovered the counterproductive consequences of a sanctions-based approach focused on requirements to apply for a high volume of jobs. Furthermore, employers are key to outcomes arising from such policies, but they have been largely absent from policy discussions. Our project (briefing note and full report), supported by PIN, begins to fill this gap, through consulting with 12 businesses operating in Greater Manchester.

The employers sampled offered a range of roles and contract types – some offered mainly full-time positions, others offered mainly part-time roles but required staff to take on additional work as required, some employed staff on zero hours contracts. Regarding expectations for employees to progress within their firm, employers said that this was something they would consider, however that the capacity for this varied, and weak consumer demand could make offering more hours difficult. Ultimately, their ‘bottom line’ would have more sway over expectations placed on staff, and there was widespread reluctance to increase wages due to perception that this would impact negatively on profits. Furthermore, employing staff on a part-time, flexible basis was central to existing business models:

We wouldn’t want to have every single person on a full-time contract. We’d still need some flexibility to
fluctuate with the demands of business levels”
(Employer 11, hotel)

Employers felt that the impact of IWC would depend on a range of factors including business needs, worker responses, and the approach taken (i.e. whether a supportive/sanctions-based approach, and the nature of support). There was a concern that IWC may be a hindrance to workforce flexibility and that it might adversely impact on staff motivation and well-being:

“[It’s] simple, happy team, happy guests…If we have a team who’s burdened with all these headaches,
then of course that’s going to impact on our quality, productivity”
(Employer 5, hotel)

Katy Jones MMU for GM Poverty Action

Katy Jones

Employers also felt IWC could increase recruitment costs for businesses – not only due to increased turnover, but also if more applications were made by others subject to it. Interviewees complained about the high costs associated with dealing with a high volume of applications, which they felt in part resulted from the existing emphasis of Jobcentres on requiring jobseekers to focus on the quantity, rather the quality of applications and job fit.

In addition, some employers felt that policymakers should focus more on employer practices, rather than solely on claimants. Supporting employers to be better businesses was felt to be more likely to have a positive impact on both individual progression opportunities and firm performance:

It would be probably more beneficial for the government to help employers become better employers, and to make the workplace a more positive environment than it is to push employees to get more jobs” (Employer 10, soft play centre)

Our project has highlighted a number of important issues which policymakers should consider as their ‘in-work offer’ is developed. Importantly, a ‘work first, then work more’ approach, focused on placing conditions on individual workers fails to consider long-standing issues of poor work quality and management practices, and appears to be at odds with the nature of the UK labour market, and broader policy agendas focused on improving productivity and work quality.

More information about the Centre for Decent Work and Productivity

 

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Living Wage Week 2019

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Living Wage Week
Monday November 11th – Sunday November 17th, 2019
By John Hacking, Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign Co-ordinator

Living Wage Week is almost upon us and the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign will be busy delivering, supporting and promoting a range of events and activities about the benefits and importance of paying the Real Living Wage. These are some of the activities that you can get involved with, but for up to the minute information during Living Wage Week visit our Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter.

Wednesday November 13th, 2019 from 8.30 – 10am: the Campaign will be holding a joint event with the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter. The event is aimed at GM employers who are interested in the Charter and finding out more about the Living Wage and will be held in Salford Museum and I will be speaking along with local accredited Living Wage Employer, Anchor Removals, and the Living Wage Foundation. The event is for employers in GM and if you want to come along then please book a place here.

Real Living Wage Supporters Network event for GM Poverty Action

Wednesday November 13th, 2019 from 2 – 3.30pm: The Campaign is delighted to be partnering with another accredited Living Wage Employer, Boo Consulting, to deliver an exciting Living Wage Week event in Bolton later that day. I will be speaking again and any employer in Bolton can come along and find out more about the Living Wage. Book a place at this event here.

Other events and actions:

The Campaign is also working with accredited Living Wage Employer IKEA at their Ashton-under-Lyne branch to organise an in-store promotion to celebrate their continuing commitment as a Living Wage Employer. More detail on this will be on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Campaign is still working with partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors on other events and activities during Living Wage Week. We are in close contact with GM Citizens and will be working with them to ensure maximum coverage for the message about the Living Wage throughout Greater Manchester. If you want any more information about Living Wage Week or the GM Living Wage Campaign then do send me an email. We hope to see you in Living Wage Week.

 

 

 

i3oz9sLiving Wage Week 2019
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Working conditions in Manchester’s textile manufacturing sector

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by Lucy Brill

In 2017, the international women workers’ organisation, Homeworkers’ Worldwide (HWW), more used to mapping the garment industry in countries as far away as India, Chile and China, completed a scoping study on working conditions within the textile and garment manufacturing sector within Greater Manchester (GM). Our report is available on the Homeworkers Worldwide website here.

Our outreach project contacted over sixty local organisations, collating anecdotal information about workers in the sector, which eventually led to interviews with two retailers, six manufacturers and five workers. We also built up a database of information about over a hundred companies within GM.

Initial interviews found evidence that confirmed that the low wage rates (around £4/hour) and double accounting systems found by Professor Hammer in Leicester in 2015 were also present in some factories in Greater Manchester:

They give us payslips but they only show 16 hours/week, at £7.50/hour, whereas in fact we’re doing many more hours than that .. usually we do 30 hours/week… and we’re paid around £500/month.

Small manufacturers also highlighted the challenges they faced, due to large retailers’ unfair purchasing practices, which included driving down prices to levels where it was impossible for them to pay their workers properly and leaving invoices unpaid for several months at a time.

In Bangladesh or China you have to pay 30% in advance, and then pay everything to release the goods … whereas here the law is so weak, they all expect 60 or 90 day terms ..

the retailers are very dishonest ..  they’re all billionaires, yet they won’t pay invoices for months ..

E-tailer X .. is really hard to work with, constantly driving down the prices ..

This was intended to be an initial study, that we hoped would lead to a larger action research project. Unfortunately  we were not able to extend the scoping study so it is not possible to say how prevalent these issues are within the UK industry.

The report highlights the importance of further research to enable workers voices to be heard in the debate to improve working conditions within UK manufacturing, and concludes with some provisional policy recommendations.

These include the importance of accessible employment rights advice backed up by effective enforcement services that operate independently of immigration controls, to support workers who take action to claim those rights. Large retailers particularly those who value the flexibility and fast turnaround that local manufacturers can provide, need to recognise their responsibilities, and support their much smaller UK based suppliers to provide decent working conditions for workers making and packing their clothes now, and also to invest in a sustainable future for the UK industry.

Small suppliers need retailers to help them manage the risks involved in the fashion business, so they do not pass these onto their workers. Employers highlighted issues such as prompt payment terms, as well as larger or more consistent orders, which would reduce their overheads and enable them to improve working conditions within their factories. National government should also consider introducing joint liability for the most serious labour rights abuses, to hold the often much larger retailers accountable for working conditions in their supply chains

Homeworkers world wide article Lucy Brill photo for GM Poverty ActionHWW would be very keen to collaborate with others to find ways to extend this work, as was originally planned when we started on the work in 2017. Please contact Lucy Brill if you have any proposals to take this forward.

 

Lucy Brill
Homeworkers Worldwide Co-ordinator

 

i3oz9sWorking conditions in Manchester’s textile manufacturing sector
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MCC and the Living Wage

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Manchester City Council sets out its ambition to be an accredited Living Wage Employer

The Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign launched in 2013, and within months a supporter of the campaign, who was also a councillor, proposed a resolution for Manchester City Council to pay at least the Real Living Wage. The Campaign played an active role in the Task & Finish Group that followed, and the Council resolved to also attempt to roll out the Living Wage to the Council’s contracted workers.

One of our first successes was therefore with Manchester City Council, resulting in a pay rise for over a thousand workers. However, the Council was reticent at the time to make this a public long-term commitment by becoming accredited with the Living Wage Foundation. So while we celebrated the success and the resulting increases in take-home pay, we maintained that the job was incomplete.

Accreditation is the best platform from which to engage other employers and encourage them to implement the Real Living Wage. It commits employers to making a clear plan for the rollout of the Real Living Wage to their contracted and sub-contracted workers, and enables the Living Wage Foundation to support the employer to do so. Accredited by an independent organisation, it gives employers the right to use the Living Wage kite mark and to promote their credentials as a Living Wage Employer.

The Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign affirms the importance of accreditation, and has a vision of a Living Wage City Region in which all councils and other major employers accredit, and take action to bring other employers on board. We have raised this consistently in several subsequent meetings with the Council.

Tom Skinner editorial article for GM Poverty Action

Tom Skinner, GMPA Director

For this reason we are delighted to share that Manchester City Council has set out its ambition to be an accredited Living Wage Employer. They join Oldham in making this announcement, and seek to join Salford as fully accredited Living Wage Employers. We will support these Councils with this process, and call on the remaining seven GM join to join them as accredited Living Wage Employers.

If you would like to join us in action on the Real Living Wage but are not yet signed up to receive updates directly from the Campaign please email: livingwage@gmpovertyaction.org  with ‘Sign Up’ in the subject line.

 

 

 

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GM Good Employment Charter

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Making employment work for everyone
by Ian McArthur, Business Growth Hub

For many people, modern work isn’t working. Record high employment figures conceal major deficiencies in the quality of work people are doing.

In an increasingly insecure UK labour market, poverty rates have risen for every type of working family and one in eight workers nationally is now in poverty.

The Greater Manchester Independent Prosperity Review, launched earlier this year, found that wages have fallen by 6.6% in real terms between 2006 and 2016 for the average worker in the city-region, in a labour market which has seen a rise in unstable and low paid work.

This can’t be right. We need to be offering employees secure, fulfilling and well-paid work that prevents them from falling into poverty in the first place, and that means that our businesses and third sector organisations can grow and succeed based on the skills and engagement of their staff.

That’s why in Greater Manchester we’re doing things differently, working with employers and employees in all sectors, trade unions, representative organisations and other key stakeholders to develop a Good Employment Charter.

Through two consultations and a broader co-design process involving GMCVO and others, including GMPA, we’ve developed a list of seven employment characteristics which define good employment:

Security of work
Flexible work
Payment of a real living wage
A productive and healthy workplace
Excellent people management
Excellent recruitment practices and progression
Workplace engagement and voice

Taking the Charter forward into implementation we want to support employers on a journey towards best practice in each of these fields, demonstrating the positive impact that better employment standards can have on employee welfare and organisational performance alike. The Charter has been developed with a tiered approach to help support and encourage employers to share excellent practice, access support to progress to higher standards, and help them become more successful as a result.

The Charter model has now been agreed by the Combined Authority and, working with partners, we are beginning the process of putting the Charter into action. Already, it has been highlighted by the recent Greater Manchester Independent Prosperity Review as an important element in increasing economic growth and pay in the city-region.

The Charter Supporters’ Network will be launched in July and employers from across the private, public and community and voluntary sectors will be able to sign up then and access a number of resources and networks to help drive up employment standards. Also in July, a representative pilot group of employers from across Greater Manchester will work with the Charter Implementation Unit (hosted by the Growth Company), on developing membership standards appropriate for employers of various sizes across all sectors. Third sector employers who would like more information on the Charter or would like to take part in the pilot process should contact Ian MacArthur

 

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Councils must tackle in-work poverty

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By Marcus Johns, IPPR

One in every three children in Greater Manchester lives below the poverty line, after housing costs, and this continues to rise. These new figures from End Child Poverty are shocking.

While cuts and reforms to benefits are largely to blame, low wages, insecure work, and poor-quality jobs have also had a significant impact. In 2018, the TUC found the number of children nationally growing up in poverty who live in working households is growing – it’s currently around 3.1 million.

The relationship between high levels of employment and lower poverty has been widely assumed. But, in the era of record high employment rates – currently 74% in Greater Manchester – alongside increasing levels of poverty, this view appears defunct.

At IPPR North, we recently published ‘Decent Work: Harnessing the power of local government’, a report highlighting the North’s job quality crisis and some of the things northern local authorities are doing to mitigate it.

This crisis sees 1 in 4 northern workers paid less than the Real Living Wage of £9 per hour, the amount needed to just get by. In Greater Manchester, that equates to 270,000 people. The picture is even worse for women: 1 in 3 are paid below the living wage in the North. This crisis is heightening: average weekly pay has fallen £21 per week in real terms since the financial crisis. This puts pressure on household budgets, leading to parents skipping meals to provide food for their children and harming wellbeing with the constant threat of slipping into uncontrollable debt or being unable to pay rent.

To tackle this crisis, we need to focus on decent work. Decent work means secure and reliable hours, training and progression opportunities, a voice at work and fair and decent pay. So, we are calling for the North to become a ‘Living Wage Region’ by 2025 – where everyone is paid at least the living wage – and for the creation of a Northern Employment Charter, that brings together the region’s local employment charters to a shared minimum standard of work. Our report outlines a roadmap to get there, calling on local government to use all levers at their disposal.

Many authorities are already combating low pay and poor-quality work. Despite the headwinds of a decade of austerity, councils are overcoming financial and legal barriers—both real and perceived—to improve pay and conditions for staff, workers in their supply chain, and in their local economies. Councils like Manchester and Salford are leading the way in these efforts.

But what more can be done in Greater Manchester?

All boroughs in Greater Manchester need to work together to embed decent work – our report outlines 27 practical recommendations for councils to start implementing both internally and in their suppliers’ workforces. This is accompanied by our 10-point guide for Councillors on decent work in commissioning and procurement.

We know Greater Manchester’s employment charter has excellent potential – it needs to be implemented at pace and used by employers across the city region. It can send a clear message: Greater Manchester won’t accept less than decent work for all citizens.

We also know Greater Manchester has many anchor institutions, universities, colleges, hospitals whose geography is “sticky”: they can’t or are very unlikely to ever leave Greater Manchester. They can be supported to adopt decent work and pay living wages. They are also big customers, who can throw their institutional weight behind decent work by demanding it of their suppliers.

Marcus Johns article for GM Poverty Action

Marcus Johns, IPPR North

But crucially, central government must step up. The minimum wage should be raised to at least the real living wage, employment rights should be strengthened and enforcement improved. Local government needs fair and proper funding to deliver decent work indefinitely.

We have a job quality crisis largely because of political choices central government has made: the choice to allow the number on zero hours contracts to rise and real pay to fall. But local government has a choice to do what it can do locally, right now.

Without decent work, working people – and their children – across Greater Manchester, and across the North, will continue to be affected. Local government here in Greater Manchester and across the North must act now.

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National Living Wage

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National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

HMRC wishes to raise awareness of the new rates of pay that will come into force when the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increase on 1 April 2019 to ensure that all employers are at least paying their staff the legal minimum.

A website to assist employers is available and employers and employees can contact Acas for advice and support on a wide range of employment rights and responsibilities (or call 0300 123 1100 from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm but check your call costs first as they vary from 3p to 40p per minute).

HMRC also want to encourage low-paid workers to come forward to make sure they are getting the wages they are legally entitled to. They are looking to raise worker’s awareness of their entitlement and asking them to report any under-payments for HMRC to investigate if necessary.

HMRC believe that many people who are paid the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage still lose out on their full entitlement because of a series of common errors made by their employers. Workers often don’t realise that they are being short-changed and that it’s possible for them to get back the money they are owed.

The new rates of pay per hour after 1 April 2019 will be:

For Apprentices in their first year or under 19:      £3.90
For employees under 18:                                           £4.35
For employees aged 18 – 20:                                    £6.15
For employees aged 21 – 24:                                    £7.70
For employees 25 and over:                                      £8.21

Comment from GMPA, “Under-payment of the minimum wage is a major issue of in-work poverty, particularly exploiting workers from marginalised groups. We fully support HMRC in encouraging low-paid workers to come forward to make sure they are not being underpaid. However we take issue with the description of the minimum wage as a “National Living Wage”, which is misleading and confusing for employers and the wider public and does not reflect what is needed to achieve a decent standard of living. 

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate independently calculated to be enough for a decent minimum standard of living. That rate is £9/hr outside London, a new rate is calculated and announced every November in Living Wage Week, and we encourage employers to voluntarily commit to paying all of their staff that rate, and to become accredited as Living Wage Employers. Almost 150 employers across Greater Manchester have been accredited as Living Wage Employers, including Salford City Council, the GM Chamber of Commerce, and many businesses and charities. 

The so-called National Living Wage is a re-brand of the minimum wage, but it is not a living wage as it is not based on the cost of living. It could also be argued that it is not truly national as it does not apply to people under the age of 25. This distinction is important because both the minimum wage and the real Living Wage are valuable tools in the bid to end in-work poverty, and should not be allowed to confuse or to distract from each other. Please see the Living Wage Foundation’s explanation for further information.

 

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Making employment work for everyone

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By Andy Burnham , Mayor of Greater Manchester

For many people, modern work isn’t working.

In an increasingly insecure UK labour market, poverty rates have risen for every type of working family and one in eight workers nationally is now in poverty.

Our Greater Manchester Independent Prosperity Review, launched earlier this year, found that wages have fallen by 6.6% in real terms between 2006 and 2016 for the average worker in the city-region, in a labour market which has seen a rise in unstable and low paid work.

This can’t be right. We need to be offering employees secure, fulfilling and well-paid work that prevents them from falling into poverty in the first place, and that means that our businesses can grow and succeed based on the skills and engagement of their staff.

That’s why in Greater Manchester we’re doing things differently, working with employers and employees in all sectors, trade unions, business representative organisations and other key stakeholders to develop a Good Employment Charter.

Through two consultations and a broader co-design process involving GM Poverty Action and others we’ve developed a list of seven employment characteristics which define good employment:

  • Security of work
  • Flexible work
  • Payment of a real living wage
  • Excellent people management
  • A productive & healthy workplace
  • Excellent recruitment practices and progression
  • Workplace engagement and voice

We want to bring employers with us on a journey towards best practice in each of these fields, demonstrating the positive impact that better employment standards can have on employee welfare and business performance alike. The Charter will therefore have a tiered approach to help support and encourage employers to share excellent practice, access support to progress to higher standards, and help them become more successful as a result.

Through our co-design process and as we move into the implementation of the Charter, we’re building a coalition of organisations committed to improving employment practice and offering fair conditions for their workers.

In this way, Charter members will be at the heart of the movement, demonstrating its values and spreading its influence and positive impacts to other employers in Greater Manchester – advocating membership amongst their networks and supply chains.

Our Charter model has now been agreed by the Combined Authority and, working with partners, we are beginning the process of putting the Charter into action. Already, it has been highlighted by the recent Greater Manchester Independent Prosperity Review as an important element in increasing economic growth and pay in the city-region.

I’d like to thank GM Poverty Action for the help and advice they have provided throughout the Charter’s design. I believe the model we have created together can and will make a real difference for people in Greater Manchester.

More information is available on the GMCA website

You can read GMPA’s responses to the Good Employment Carter consultation here

i3oz9sMaking employment work for everyone
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