Constructive agreement for construction

Construction workers in the city are set to benefit from a new agreement protecting workers’ rights. 

The council has signed up to the Unite the Union Construction Charter. The Charter ensures that working conditions for employees on construction projects under council control meet the highest standards.

The Charter will soon come into force in Brighton & Hove following agreement on how best to implement its provisions at the council’s recent Procurement Advisory Board. 

The Charter supports increased fairness for workers by laying out eleven requirements for contractors and their supply chain. 

Cllr Nancy Platts, lead for economic development and social value, said: “This is a positive step for the council and the city. The Charter will reinforce how the illegal practice of blacklisting workers won’t be tolerated and ensure fair pay through direct employment rather than umbrella company arrangements which can be costly for the construction worker.”

“We will work with construction companies to create genuine social value by enforcing the highest standards for their workers. What’s more, its spirit will promote the same standards for how these companies operate even when the council is not the direct client.”

The council will continue to link with Unite to deliver the Charter requirements, which cover direct employment status, health and safety, skills development, fair recruitment and measures to support the UK construction industry.

Sarah Carpenter, Unite regional secretary, said: “Brighton & Hove City Council’s decision to sign Unite’s pioneering Charter is a significant boost for construction workers. It shows that the council is really serious about the best standards for local construction projects.”

“The Construction Charter makes a difference by helping local workers to operate in a safe environment and helps them to raise health and safety issues without fear. The Charter also protects workers from bogus self-employment by ensuring construction workers are directly employed.”