Corby borough council will throw its weight behind a Unite union construction charter (see notes to editors) that seeks to ensure that conditions for workers on construction projects under local authority control in the borough meet the highest standards.

Tom Beattie, leader of the council and Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands, Paresh Patel will sign the charter at a ceremony at the Corby Cube in Corby on Monday 12 November at 11.00.

The charter commits to working with Unite in order to achieve the highest standards in respect of direct employment status, health & safety, standards of work, apprenticeship training and the implementation of appropriate nationally agreed terms and conditions of employment.

The charter will cover important local authority construction projects including the council’s ambitious house building programme.

Unite regional secretary for the East Midlands Paresh Patel said: “It’s great news for Corby’s construction workers that the council is on their side. The council is making a significant commitment to construction workers at sites under local authority control.

"Unite’s construction charter will help local workers to operate in a safe environment on construction sites. The charter also ensures that workers will be directly employed and that they can raise health and safety issues without fear.”

Tom Beattie, leader of Corby borough council said: “We are very pleased to be signing up to Unite the union's construction charter. Corby is one of the fastest growing places in the country and with our ambition to double our population by 2020 it is important to ensure that we do all we can to work with construction companies that meet these high standards for their workers.”

ENDS

For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315

Unite construction charter

As a Local Authority we are responsible for the procurement of a multitude of construction projects. It is therefore appropriate that we as a responsible client enter into this agreement and commit to working with the appropriate trade unions, in order to achieve the highest standards in respect of; direct employment status, health & Safety, standard of work, apprenticeship training and the implementation of appropriate nationally agreed terms and conditions of employment.

The following shall be a requirement for all contractors and their supply chain engaged by this authority:

1. All parties recognise that the highest level of compliance with current HMRC regulations must be achieved where public funds are utilised. It is therefore a contractual requirement that all operatives are directly employed on a PAYE basis under a contract of employment. Furthermore the use of intermediary pay roll company will be prohibited on all contracts.

2. Health and Safety of workers on all of our construction projects is paramount. It is therefore a requirement that all contractors rigorously implement and adhere to our minimum standards for health and safety, as set out in our procurement documents. In addition we require all contractors to provide quality welfare facilities fit for purpose in accordance with the Construction Design and Management Regulation of 2015.

3. It is a recognised fact that the presence of trade union safety representatives significantly improves safety in the workplace. Contractors and their supply chain are required to work collaboratively with the appropriate trade unions to identify and implement reasonable real-world initiatives.

4. The Authority requires all projects to be completed to the highest standard, so as to meet the aspirations of the residents of this Authority. In order to achieve this it is recognised that it is necessary that all workers are competent and have the appropriate level of skill to carry out the work they are employed to do. To assist in the achievement of this goal the Authority’s contractors and their supply chain will ensure they retain documented evidence that all workers are competent to carry out the work they have been employed to do. They will ensure that such evidence is retained in a way as to allow the Authority or its nominee’s to audit the documentation. Possession of the recognised industry skills / grade card such as JIB or CSCS will be considered acceptable evidence

5. The Authority is mindful of the industry skills shortage and the need to address this through appropriate apprenticeships, including adult training in up skilling. The Authority’s contractors and supply chain will in consultation with the Authority and other interested parties develop and implement a programme that addresses the skills shortage and provides training opportunities to local residents.

6. The Authority recognises the right of all construction workers to be employed under and to be protected by the appropriate national industry collective agreement. The Authority requires full compliance with all appropriate national agreements applicable to the construction industry.

7. All contractors and their supply chain will accept the right of any trade union that is a signatory to an appropriate national agreement, to appoint shop stewards, workplace health & safety representatives and Union Learning Reps. All trade union accredited representatives will be granted appropriate time and facilities to carry out their responsibilities.

8. The Authority, its contractors and their supply chain are committed to a fair and transparent recruitment policy. All contractors and their supply chain will actively ensure that the engagement of labour is based on the individual’s ability to meet the needs of the project and the specific tasks for which they are recruited to undertake.

9. The Authority its contractors and their supply chain agree it’s not acceptable for anyone to use or make reference to any form of blacklist.

10. The Authority recognises the benefit trade unions bring to the workplace and the rights of workers to hear from trade union representative. The Authority’s contractors and their supply chain are required to allow access to nominated trade union officer from trade unions that are signatories to the appropriate national agreements. Access shall mean access to welfare facilities during working times so as to allow them to consult with their members and potential members.

11. The Authority supports the Get Britain Building campaign, which is aimed at supporting and sustaining the British construction industry. Consequently, all relevant construction contracts will be required to comply with our Authority’s Sustainable Buying Standard for Highways and Construction Materials, which requires structural steel and other relevant materials to be covered by BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing of Construction Product certification, or equivalent.