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Supply Chain Sustainability School to launch People Matter Charter

In response to the fact that organisations across the construction industry are increasingly facing more people challenges, relating to both their own workforce and their supply chain, the Supply Chain Sustainability School and its delivery partner Action Sustainability are launching the People Matter Charter to help organisations up and down the supply chain bring these challenges together into one workforce strategy.

In 2018, the School brought Partners together to identify what an organisation should have in place to treat people responsibly. The result is the People Matter Charter: eight commitments that signatories and their supply chain should be able to evidence.

Tony Hyland, Senior National Account Manager, DWP Caxton House commented: “The Department of Work and Pensions fully supports the work of Action Sustainability and the aspirations of the People Matter Charter. Only by demonstrating the highest ethical standards of employment can we expect to recruit, train and retain the workforce the construction sector needs for the future.”

The aim of the Charter is to address people issues, regardless of where they exist globally. From infrastructure and buildings, to homes and facilities management, these commitments apply equally to clients, principal contractors, labour agencies, subcontractors and suppliers – in effect, anywhere people are employed and managed.

The Charter is divided into Requirements and Intents. Requirements are applicable to all and should be able to be demonstrated from day one upon signing the Charter. Intents apply throughout the supply chain to varying degrees and should show continuous improvement with a view towards best practice.

Together the eight commitments cover the following areas: Equality, diversity and inclusion, Skills and training; Workforce culture; Living Wage; Due diligence; Labour legal requirements; Labour exploitation; and Payments.

For Neil Mant, Supply Chain and Procurement Director, VINCI Construction, the Charter not only provides a strategic focus at company level, but also signals a sector-wide shift that is urgently needed across construction. He said: “The People Matter Charter is an excellent way to formalise our commitment to how we engage with people at all levels. It gives us a framework that we can adopt and filter through our supply chain, demonstrating our intent as well as setting out some formal requirements. This is a movement that will commit businesses to behave responsibly and value all people that work in our industry.”

Workplace experts Acas also contributed to development of the Charter, Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews said: “Effective people management is the key to strong productive workplaces. The new People Matter Charter will give employers confidence, skills, and the reputation to attract and keep the best talent in British construction. The Charter will help organisations in construction to continue to grow and meet ambitions on the world stage.”

The construction industry employs around 2.4 million people in the UK alone, plus seeks to recruit 157,000 new entrants by 2021. The Charter can apply to any organisation, of any size – and 24 have already signed up, ahead of the official launch on 21 January 2020 at the Crowne Plaza, in Birmingham.

Online registration is open here.

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