(Cabinet Member with Special responsibility Councillor Wood)
Report of Chief Executive
Cabinet received a report from the Chief Executive which updated Cabinet on progress on the Fair Work Charter and sought approval for the draft charter to progress to external consultation and implementation via a partnership model.
The options, options analysis, including risk assessment and officer preferred option, were set out in the report as follows:
Option 1: Approve draft charter and proposals to implement and further engage with the business community.
Option 2: Reject the draft charter and proposals to implement and further engage with the business community
· Further progress can be made on a key element of plan 2030.
· The council can play a part in reducing labour market inequalities taking a leading role and modelling best practice.
· Resources are stretched within our teams, this would free resource for other key projects
· Avoidance of any potential cost of implementation.
· Potential sign ups (members) could be low given our small business community is our largest sector. Internal resource required to implement would need to be considered against other key projects and initiatives.
· Without the charter to progress the council wouldn’t have a vessel by which to have a conversation with businesses regarding labour market inequality.
· Given the cost of living crisis that we are also facing, our corporate ambitions to improve the prosperity of our local economy not progressing the charter would be a negative. Other initiatives would need to be considered to meet our ambitions
· The implementation of the charter could have some potential costs around marketing which will need to be referred into this committee following the external engagement process. It is hoped that by developing the charter with partners these costs will be minimised.
· Labour market inequalities continue without intervention and our district struggles to build back better from the pandemic and survive the current economic crisis.
The officer preferred option is for the draft charter and implementation and engagement proposals to be approved.
Councillor Wood proposed, seconded by Councillor Caroline Jackson:-
“That the recommendations, as set out in the report, be approved.”
Councillors then voted:-
(1) That the progress made on the development of a Lancaster District Fair Work Charter to reduce social inequality and drive improvements to pay and working conditions of local residents be noted.
(2) That the current draft be approved and further external consultation with a focus on local businesses be authorised.
(3) That the Fair Work Charter engagement and implementation plan be approved.
(4) That Cabinet recommends that Personnel Committee agrees that the Council, as an employer, will commit to the Fair Work Charter journey.
Officer responsible for effecting the decision:
Reasons for making the decision:
The rationale of the introduction of Fair Work Charters is built on the business case that to offer decent terms and conditions of employment is equally good for business, employees and local society. The proven benefits are that good terms of employment attract high calibre staff, enhance productivity and customer experience which, in turn, all support profitability or organisational success as well as quality of life for employees. This creates increased wealth and demand for products and services within the local community.
The decision is consistent with the key priorities and outcomes as set out within Plan 2030. Fair Work sits as one of the pillars of Community Wealth Building and within the overall ambition to have an inclusive and prosperous economy within the district. The charter aims to reduce labour market inequality a key linked component of which is climate justice as an integral part of social justice and economic prosperity.