The Valued Worker Scheme is an initiative jointly promoted by the NASUWT, GMB, UNISON and Unite.
The unions recognise that there are already many employers that value their employees. Unfortunately, however, there are also many that do not.
The Valued Worker Scheme is a process for recognising those employers who do treat employees well and encouraging engagement with those that do not.
The Scheme promotes the adoption of policies and practices that demonstrate employers’ commitment to treating all employees fairly, equitably and with dignity through the adoption of six principles.
Employers will commit to treat all employees fairly, equitably and consistently by:
1. enabling all employees to have a safe, secure and enjoyable working environment;
2. ensuring the wellbeing and dignity at work of all employees;
3. providing CPD for all employees;
4. providing good pay and conditions which include a commitment to the living wage;*
5. having formal agreed mechanisms for consultation and negotiation, working in partnership with employees and trade unions;
6. ensuring policy development and working practices are informed by the use of information and evidence.
* The living wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation
Employers signing up to the Scheme initially will not be expected to be fully compliant with all the principles, but will be expected to outline their priorities for the year ahead in working towards them.
Schools can sign up to the Scheme irrespective of their current Ofsted grading.
In the NASUWT, it will usually be a Local Secretary who identifies an employer suitable for the Scheme.
The Local Secretary should discuss this with their National Executive Member to ensure they have no objections.
The approach to the employer should be then discussed with local GMB, UNISON and Unite representatives. If agreement is reached, then the Valued Worker Scheme should either be placed on the agenda of an upcoming JCC (or equivalent) or a joint letter be sent from the unions.
To join the Scheme, the employer should identify one of the principles that they will work towards over an agreed time period, usually one year, and agree with the trade union representatives the objective(s) to be met, what activities will be undertaken and what success criteria will be applied.
An initial objective may be, for example, to ensure that there are effective mechanisms for consultation and negotiation with trade unions, if these do not already exist.
At the end of the period, there should be a review and if the objective has been met, the cycle should begin again with a different principle.
Alongside this specific objective(s), any new policies or initiatives should be consistent with the principles, i.e. there should not be any detriment and opportunities to work towards the principles should be utilised wherever possible.
Once the employer has made the necessary steps to join the Scheme, the NEM should notify the national union in order that the employer can be included on the list and the Valued Worker Scheme logo sent to the employer.
Further information for employers and workplace representatives can be downloaded on the right/below.
Further information, including how to sign up to the Scheme, can also be obtained by emailing the NASUWT.