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The senior leadership and management team at the Kidzrus group has long recognised that its team members are it’s greatest asset and constantly looks at ways to improve working conditions and support made available to them.

On Thursday, 20 October Darren Matthews, Quality Manager responsible for teaching, learning and staff development attended an ACAS hosted event organised by The Greater Manchester Combined Authority to consider The Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter which aims to improve employment standards across all GM employers regardless of size, sector or geography.  This event was specifically targeted at the early years sector and PVI owners and managers alongside other sector professionals with a vested interest were present.

The Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter is a voluntary membership and assessment scheme that has been created to help deliver good job opportunities for people to progress and develop, contribute to a thriving and productive local economy in the city region, work alongside other standards and accreditations to recognise employers and engage with all GM organisations at no cost to employers.

There are a number of benefits of joining the movement, which is being directed by Andy Burham, Mayor of Greater Manchester who has stated that “We do things differently here, and we know keeping what’s good for our people at the heart of what we do will only strengthen our place”.  Nicola Fleury, Director of the Kidzrus Group is in total agreement with this sentiment as she has a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, fair pay and good working conditions and in giving employees a say in how they can contribute to making their workplaces areas of excellence.

Ian MacArthur, Head of the Charter Implementation Unit at the Growth Co led the event and provided a really insightful presentation explaining the issues that significantly impact on the quality of work in Greater Manchester.  These include but are not limited to the fact that the cost of living is greater than wages, unstable low-paid work is on the rise and that accessibility and flexibility currently not offered in some roles leads to a lack of diversity.

In his presentation Mr MacArthur discussed the seven characteristics of good employment, and these are all underpinned by equality, diversity and inclusion:

  • Extending Secure work – a commitment to giving employees clarity on the hours they work so that they have more security over their income and can manage their work and non-work commitments more easily.
  • Extending Flexible work – giving employees the opportunity to work flexibly, providing greater equality of opportunity, creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace that helps to make better use of the skills and talents of the workforce. 
  • Pay -so that employees can achieve a better standard of living and employers can benefit from better retention and workforce engagement.
  • Improving Workplace Engagement and Voice – so that staff can fully contribute to the direction and success of the organisation and shape their own roles with the support of relevant professional bodies.
  • Developing Excellent Recruitment Practices – so that we as employers can take advantage of the diversity and talents through transparent, inclusive and fair processes and practices by engaging with schools, further education and higher education providers and employment programmes, making sure that employees have the opportunity to develop and use their skills and experience.
  • Improving People Management – we value our colleagues and will develop fair and inclusive workplaces, investing in training and development of the workforce, including managers, and inspiring and motivating staff to make sure we are a successful and high performing organisation.
  • Fostering Employee Health and Wellbeing – we support the mental and physical health of all of our employees, delivering the high standards of health and safety in the workplace, so reducing the costs of absences and providing the benefits of a more diverse workforce.

These combined areas will help to develop diverse, equal and truly inclusive working conditions across Greater Manchester.

The senior leadership and management team have already made great inroads in improving the working conditions of our team members and regularly meet to review these as part of our Quality Improvement Plan.  We shall shortly meet to discuss our commitment to the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter and will share with our colleagues what improvements and developments we may next implement to make the Kidzrus Group THE place to work in early years education.

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