Taking a step forward and presenting itself as a role model to the wider sector, Wakefield Council is presently the first UK local authority to confirm and sign a brand new minimum standards charter for construction projects. The charter, which lays out a pledge to ensure a range of “minimum standards” are rigorously stuck to throughout the course of construction projects within which the council is involved, shows the council’s dedication to ensuring best practice, and responsible practices.
In line with the charter, construction firms wishing to work with the council will be required to agree to the terms of the charter which, in effect exist to guarantee a standard level of employment conditions for all workers across the construction projects. Though by no means to point fingers in any directions, the charter will be used to put a stop to industry practices deemed unacceptable such as self-employment programmes, umbrella companies and any other forms of employment which are frowned upon.
In addition to ensuring correct industry practices for employment practices, the charter also contains mention as to the key role which trade unions play in supporting safe, productive sites within which those employed can work. Effectively, this incorporates the laying out of a clear expectation on employers to employ workers under industry-recognised collective agreements as a means of best practice, but also now of policy.
Of course, whilst the benefits are inherently targeted towards those employed for projects (or at least those acting responsibly), it is also key to note that the move will also make ground in ensuring that all those projects being undertaken on behalf of the council are being undertaken by skilled workers, in a safe working environment and to a high standard of work – after all, one cannot forget the importance of high quality workmanship as a key performance indicator across all manner of construction project.