Commuter rail network Merseyrail has been recognised as an equitable employer in its region, following inclusion on the Liverpool City Region Fair Employment Charter.
The initiative was launched by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to promote fair pay practices and progress the region as a desirable and equitable place to work. It celebrates employers that take steps such as paying the real living wage, removing insecure work or zero hours contracts, and engaging effectively with trade unions.
Rotheram said: “Our region has a long and proud history as a place that stands up for the greater good. From Kitty Wilkinson and Eleanor Rathbone to modern day campaigners like Gee Walker and the Fans Supporting Foodbanks movement, we are always at the forefront of doing the right thing. We are not a place that follows the crowd, preferring instead to do things differently and blaze our own trail. I always like to say that where the Liverpool City Region leads, the rest of the country follows.
“That is what our Fair Employment Charter is all about: making our region be the fairest, most equitable place in the country to work or run a business in.
“It is not just about embarrassing unscrupulous employers – and we have seen too many of those during the Coronavirus pandemic – but helping to take them on a journey to better employment practices. Just as importantly, it is about shining a light on and promoting good employers who do the right things.”
The initiative was launched in conjunction with various trade unions, employers and staff in the local area, as well as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), in order to fully reflect the needs of both businesses and employees.
Merseyrail achieved the ‘aspiring’ level, and said it has plans to become fully accredited under the scheme during the coming year.
James Smith, acting HR director at Merseyrail, said: “Merseyrail is proud and delighted to have been awarded the Aspire status as part of the Liverpool City Region’s Fair Employment Charter.
“Our commitment to staff and ensuring that we have a workforce that is healthy, happy and motivated to help Merseyrail passengers, is key to giving us the resources to provide a first-class train service.
“We remain committed to meeting the high standards as set out by the Fair Employment Charter and look forward to playing our role in this vital scheme.”
The CIPD published a collection of resources for employers looking to improve their practices, under four pillars: healthy, fair, inclusive and just. These include benefits that support health and wellbeing, fair pay, diversity and inclusion, and centring employee voices and needs.
Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD, said: “Championing better work and working lives for the benefit of individuals, organisations and society lies at the heart of the CIPD’s purpose which is why we are delighted to support the Liverpool Fair Employment Charter.
“There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that increasing the availability of good work in the economy is important not just to support people’s wellbeing and development but also to boost their productivity.”