On Being a Good Employer
I asked myself when putting this statement together
‘What is the definition of a good employer ?’
‘Appreciating your workers’ – that’s a good place to start from ‘
So what points determine a good employer ?
· Pay and benefits
· Worklife Balance
· Maternity and parential rights
· Job Security
· Dependants leave
· Workplace culture
A good employer knows how to listen and values the opinions of their workers.
Making a worklife balance a priority as many workers are juggling careers and family life- recognising their valuable contribution to the workplace
Regular open and honest communications
Encouraging real feedback from workers that will be taken seriously
How many times have we heard of bad employers who are taken to court or I.T because of a closed shop culture where outdated practices are still being allowed to flourish and go unchecked
How can this be right in this day and age?
These are some examples of bad practices that are still allowed to continue in many workplaces
· Exploitation of Staff
· Working long hours
· Offering poor pay and terms and conditions
· Sick leave is not paid
· Annual leave is not paid
· Fostering a bullying and harassment culture
· High levels of agency staff
· Poor or non-existent relationships with unions.
On a positive note here at the Borough we have recently restored improved terms and conditions for staff, with hours going back to 37 and a half hours a week and sick pay being paid from day one.
We have signed up to the Dying to Work charter.
And of course, our starting salary is the National Living Wage Foundations recommended hourly rate.
It is also positive that we have an excellent record of supporting apprenticeships
It is important that we monitor the use of agency staff and contractors, in terms of value for money, productivity and our need to build an intelligence led organisation.
As a trade unionist myself I am pleased that we have established a good working relationship here with the unions and that the unions are seen as having an important contribution to make -in maintaining a happy and committed work force.
Local Authorities are major employers. Where they are good employers, they provide examples of good practice for the rest of the public sector and indeed the private sector
Progress has been made, but real culture change is needed to move us toward a new unitary authority
We need to see what else we can do for our workforce by maybe hosting a workshop or drop in surgery to test the temperature on the shop floor
We need to ensure that poor managements practices are dealt with, and that appropriate training is given so that interpersonal skills such as empathy and understanding are shown to all workers That all management understand work agreements and procedures to stop any confusion when we have issues to deal with
We need to ensure that workers are shown dignity and respect at all times
And that bullying and harassment in the workplace is not tolerated and is seen to be dealt with
A change of working culture -where employee’s views are valued and respected –where any feedback can be given in confidence without any threat of reprisal
We need to recognise the impact of mental health issues on our workforce and ensure that management are fully trained and able to support workers with any issues
Are our HR policies fit for purpose, do they need reviewing ?.
We need to take account of the support needs of domestic violence victims, deal with sexual harassment at work and study the effects of workplace stress
And finally bring an end to period poverty
An open and honest debate is needed between employers and the workforce on how to move forward.We need to ensure that the forthcoming Unitary Authority sets a benchmark for our present and future workforce