Politics

North East business group encourages companies to embrace ‘Good Work’ practices

The North East’s largest business organisation has launched a guide to help companies in the region improve the world of work.

The North East England Chamber of Commerce has developed a Good Work toolkit, which includes guidance on employee benefits, Living Wage accreditation, helping staff disconnect from work and improving skills.

North East companies Hodgson Sayers, Northumbrian Water, AES Digital Solutions and Thirteen Housing Group have contributed to the guide, which comes as many companies seek to attract talent at a difficult time for recruitment by showing they are good places at which to work.

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Niamh Corcoran, Chamber policy adviser said: “We are promoting ‘Good Work’ to encourage all regional employers to ensure they invest in their workforce, reward people fairly, commit to lifelong training and support the wellbeing of employees.

“At its core, the Chamber is about ensuring that the North East economy thrives. If we create a network of good businesses, we will build a stronger, future-proofed economy, underpinning a better, fairer and greener society.”

John Sayers, managing director of County Durham construction company Hodgson Sayers, contributed to the project after his firm became one of the first construction firms in the country to become accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

He said: “The economic reasons were important factors, but uppermost in our minds was the fact that embracing the Living Wage was simply the right thing to do. It chimed perfectly with our core values that guide all our transactions – honesty, decency and integrity.

“We don’t want people coming to work and worrying about money and whether they have enough to get them through the week. The wellbeing of our staff is as important to us as it is to them. We have a responsibility – a duty of care.”

North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll is also seeking to persuade employers to commit to making workplaces in the area better through his Good Work Pledge.

The North of Tyne Combined Authority’s pledge is centred around five pillars: promoting health and wellbeing; effective communications and representation; valuing and rewarding workforces; demonstrating social responsibility; and developing a balanced workforce.

Mr Driscoll promoted the good work pledge at last week’s People Power conference in Newcastle, saying: “Good work is about so much more than job creation. It’s about an economy that works for everyone. It boosts companies’ productivity and boosts workers’ quality of life.

“That’s why we have worked collaboratively with the local business community to put into practice our North of Tyne Good Work Pledge.

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