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Council leaders to consult on the possibility of introducing a fair employment charter in Cheshire

A fair employment charter for Cheshire and Warrington is being explored by council and LEP leaders.

The charter will promote fairer pay and a more diverse, engaged, and healthy workforce, as well as assisting with recruitment of good staff and other economic benefits such as increased productivity and profitability for business.

Initial consultation will shortly begin on the charter aimed at employers of all sizes, types and location within the region who will be supported and encouraged to be involved in the process.

The charter would champion good practice as well as pointing to areas for improvement.

The region’s Leaders Board which includes, amongst others, the elected leaders of Cheshire East Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Warrington Borough Council and the Cheshire and Warrington LEP, have developed the vision for the charter.

The charter would embrace a raft of areas including fair wages, working practices and recruitment; giving employees more of a voice; and removing barriers to employment including people with disabilities, young people and the over 50s.

The consultation will ask employers their views on implementation and possible different membership levels such as an entry level category as well as full membership.

A series of in-person and online consultation events are planned to gather more feedback and establish if it is a feasible proposition and if there is an appetite for the scheme.

The launch event takes place on Zoom on Monday, March 20 between 9am and 11am.

Speakers will include Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cllr Louise Gittins, and the Leader of Cheshire East Council, Cllr Sam Corcoran and those attending will also hear from and be able to put questions to a range of speakers drawn from the public sector, private and voluntary sectors who will showcase good practice in fair employment.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said “The vision for a Fair Employment Charter is one in which all employers and employees can benefit from a commitment to good employment and business best practice. The Charter aims to celebrate good employers, remove barriers to people getting into work, support health and wellbeing, and help people into good jobs with fair wages in all areas of our borough, to ensure that no-one is left behind.

“The Fair Employment Charter is part of the Council’s commitment to an Inclusive Economy, which aims to make Cheshire West and Chester a greener, fairer and stronger place to live and work. We encourage all employers in the area to get involved in this consultation, so that we can work together on putting this vision into action.”

Leader of Warrington Borough Council, Cllr Russ Bowden, said “This is an important partnership initiative as we collectively work to promote and support better working conditions and best practice across the region.”

Leader of Cheshire East Council and Co-Chair of the Cheshire & Warrington Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Commission, Cllr Sam Corcoran said: “The charter mark would be a way of building on the high standards businesses proudly have in the sub-region.

“Exploring issues around fair pay, diversity in the workplace and barriers to entry will not only benefit our current and future workforces but also our pioneering businesses who will benefit from even greater employee satisfaction and productivity.”

Clare Hayward, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said “We are blessed with fantastic employers across Cheshire and Warrington and the charter would be a great way to champion best practice, provide businesses with effective ways of addressing recruitment challenges and build on the area’s reputation as a place where people want to work.”

Anyone interested in signing up to the free event on March 20 should click on this link which takes you to the Eventbrite booking page.

The  Local Enterprise Partnership the growth of the Cheshire and Warrington economy through a powerful partnership between the private, public, and voluntary sectors.

The Local Enterprise Partnership Board sets strategic direction for the economic development of Cheshire and Warrington. This is based on an objective assessment of the region’s opportunities and challenges. 

The LEP is supporting the Leaders' board with the charter consultation.

As an organisation Cheshire and Warrington LEP listens to the needs of our businesses and communities. We want to build connections with any organisation and individual in Cheshire and Warrington who is prepared to help improve the local economy.

We also work closely with partners across the Northern Powerhouse. We are proud of our ability to make things happen. Over recent years we have invested over £200 million of Local Growth Funding. We provide advice and support for businesses through our Growth Hub; improve skills and training in partnership with schools, colleges, and the University of Chester; and promote the region as a great place to live, work, invest, visit, meet and study through Marketing Cheshire.

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