Number of Greater Manchester businesses to prohibit zero-hours contracts

27 January 2020


Founder supporters of the “Good Employment Charter” in Greater Manchester have agreed to ban zero-hours contracts and will pay higher rates than that of minimum wage to their staff. More than 60 companies have promised to sign the charter, with those still in talks about signing the charter exceeding the 100 mark.

The charter is the creation of Labour mayor, Andy Burnham, who asserts that the UK needs to enhance wages and improve the treatment of employees, due to growing concern that there is a  widespread practice of businesses offering low-paid jobs, which are leaving people struggling to live comfortably. The Financial Times reported that he said:

“We want to support our world-leading businesses, helping them to grow and invest in our places, while at the same time making sure our residents develop the skills to succeed and find good, secure jobs that pay a real living wage.

 This Good Employment Charter is a major step towards making sure that new and existing jobs right across our city region are underpinned by a commitment to equality, fair pay, and giving employees a say in how their workplaces are run.”

Companies that sign the charter will be making a commitment to treat staff correctly, to consult with them, along with offering flexible working options as well as clear and tailored training and progression opportunities.  Details of some of the first signatories have been provided and they are the family-owned property business, Bruntwood and the company who runs the regional power grid, Electricity North West. Some well-known businesses are also in discussions to join the charter, and familiar names such as Kelloggs, Lloyds Banking Group and Manchester Airports Group fall into this category. The Lloyds ambassador for the north of England, Elyn Corfield, said:

“Supporting a productive and healthy working environment is essential in helping local businesses thrive. It is something that is central to our culture at Lloyds Banking Group. The Good Employment Charter enables us to further enhance the wellbeing of our colleagues and local communities.

Our initiatives include providing funding for apprentices across the Greater Manchester area and delivering skills academies to help boost digital capability across the region.”

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority cannot force companies to sign the charter but is offering incentives to those businesses that do. Only signatories will be eligible for investment from its GM Business Fund, which has invested over £116 million into over 100 businesses in recent years. Companies who sign up are also more likely to win public procurement contracts in the city.


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