Home / Employee support / Employers urged to back homelessness pledge

Employers urged to back homelessness pledge

Six months since the launch of the Government-backed Homelessness Covenant, more than 160 businesses have registered their interest in joining the Government’s drive to help prevent and end homelessness, starting in the workplace.

Employers across the country are being urged to sign up to the Covenant and support people at risk of or experiencing homelessness – including those ‘sofa surfing’ or in temporary accommodation – to stay in work through supportive employment policies.

The Covenant was launched in September 2023 by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and homelessness charity Crisis, and encourages employers to provide the support needed for anyone to secure and maintain a job and reap the health and financial benefits that employment offers.

It includes a set of pledges employers can sign up to, including employment and training opportunities, fairer recruitment and helping to tackle homelessness in local communities through volunteering and fundraising.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Felicity Buchan MP, said: “We need a collective effort to tackle homelessness and end rough sleeping for good and businesses can play a vital role in our mission. I encourage companies to sign up to the Covenant so they can support their employees who may be at risk of homelessness and provide job opportunities for those without the stability of a secure home.”

Employers who sign up to the Covenant can build their understanding of homelessness, and learn how to recognise and support employees who may be at risk, through access to informative resources, best practice approaches, and online and in-person networking opportunities.

Crisis Chief Executive, Matt Downie said: “Work can be a powerful tool for ending homelessness and preventing it from happening in the first place. When work is decent, well-paid, and supported by inclusive employment practices and flexible policies, it can be a pathway to stability and security.

“It’s been really positive to see the response to the Homelessness Covenant since it launched last year, with businesses from a range of sectors demonstrating a real desire to address the issue.

“Crisis is committed to continuing to advise and support employers, helping them to put the policies and practices in place to build truly inclusive workplaces.”

Crisis will publish a best practice guide later this month to provide further support to employers. The guide will showcase examples of how organisations, regardless of scale or sector, can foster supportive work environments that help prevent and end homelessness.

To prevent rough sleeping and ensure people at risk can start or stay in work, the Government has pledged over £1.2 billion for the Homelessness Prevention Grant, while increases to Local Housing Allowance rates in April will see 1.6 million private renters on benefits gain an average of nearly £800 a year.

The Government also continues to provide support for people when it has not been possible to prevent homelessness, giving councils across England over £547 million via the Rough Sleeping Initiative 2022-25 and pledging £10 million in funding targeted at areas with the highest rough sleeping pressures.

Businesses can find out more about the Homelessness Covenant, best practice guide, and how to sign up online.

FM Tech Survey 2024 

Service Works Global (SWG) is conducting research in partnership with FMJ, to find out how you are using technology in your role through a short survey.

Whatever your FM role, your responses will help to provide analysis and insight into the use of technology, as the FM industry rises to meet the challenges of sustainability, new ways of working and data-driven decision making. This will enable FMs to gain insight into future trends to stay ahead of the curve, and be able to benchmark against the industry as a whole.

The anonymised results will be published so that you can see how you compare to others within the sector.

The survey should take just 5-10 minutes of your time, and as a thank you, participants will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky winner will be picked at random to receive an iPad 10th Generation worth £499.

To take part click here.

About Sarah OBeirne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *