Fair Work First Statement

At Bield Housing & Care, we are committed to the principles and effective implementation of Fair Work First which extends to every member of our staff team throughout their entire employment journey.  We will achieve this commitment by continuously reviewing and enhancing our work processes, ensuring that our policies mirror our commitment to the principles of Fair Work First.

1. We have an appropriate channel for effective employee voice

  • Bield operates an Employee Forum and works in a formal partnership arrangement with the group to ensure collective representation of its employees.
  • Bield conduct regular employee surveys and communicate the results and any outcomes/actions arising with our employees.
  • Bield collaborates closely with our Employee Forum to ensure effective consultation and negotiation during any change management activities.

2. We invest in workforce development

  • Bield has an Organisational Development Team who support the learning and development of all employees across the organisation.  We offer comprehensive learning and development opportunities, including:
    • Recognised professional and vocational qualifications which we will pay for employees to complete.
    • Role-specific training to give employees the knowledge and skills they need in their role (such as medication, safeguarding or load management).
    • Access to our e-learning platform which contains a wide range of courses relevant for people’s role or for personal development.
    • We are working with ACAS on our Skilled Managers training and investing in our leadership development with external experts supporting this work.

3. We do not use zero hours contracts inappropriately

  • For temporary, fixed term or general employees across our workforce, we recruit to paid stated minimum hour contracts.
  • We do recruit to a small bank of casual staff; casual work means that shifts will be offered on a casual rather than regular basis to cover planned and emergency leave.
  • Casual work is a flexible option for Bield and those who choose to apply for this type of work allowing them to select or decline shifts when available or to undertake work for other employers.  These are not forced recruitment practices and are used to  support the running of our services, providing flexible cover to meet short-term resource gaps or peaks in demand.
  • Those who choose to join our bank of casual workers are trusted and valued colleagues within our teams, with access to core role-specific training opportunities and comparable access to internal employment opportunities as permanent employees should they choose to apply,
  • They are all paid at Scottish Living Wage (SLW) rate and are granted statutory employment rights and protections, without exception.  We ensure that our approach complies with good practice, employment law and SSSC and regulatory requirements.

4. We take action to tackle the Gender Pay Gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace

  • Bield’s Gender Pay Gap Reports are published on our website.  The last reported Mean Gender Pay Gap was 21%.  The composition of our workforce reflects the proportion of women employed in frontline positions in our services and developments, which is broadly representative of the make-up of housing and care sectors across the UK which remain predominantly female.
  • The composition of our current Executive Management Team is predominantly female.
  • Bield is confident that the Gender Pay Gap does not stem from paying men and women differently for the same or equivalent work.  We remain committed to promoting diversity in the workplace and equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of sex, race, religion or belief, age, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or disability.
  • Bield has a clear policy of paying employees equally for the same or equivalent work, regardless of their sex (or any other protected characteristic as set out above).  This is demonstrated through our defined and published pay scales and job evaluation process.  We also have a robust and transparent approach to recruitment, appointing candidates based on performance and competence.

5. We commit to paying the Real Living Wage

  • A key commitment in our People Strategy is to retain the Scottish Living Wage.  At our last pay award, we were successful in taking all pay scales within Bield to above the current SLW minimum. 
  • Our annual pay awards in the last two years in particular have focussed on supporting lower paid staff.
  • We also provide a range of measures to support the financial wellbeing of our employees, including access to e-learning to support our people to manage their finances, access to employee discount schemes, etc.

6. We offer flexible and family friendly working practices for all workers throughout their time with us

  • Bield has adapted our working practices post-pandemic to offer more flexibility to staff, particularly in relation to work location.  Where the role permits, many of our employees work from home for part of the week.
  • We have a range of policies which support flexibility and family-friendly working practices, including:
    • Flexible Working Policy
    • Career Break Policy
    • TOIL
    • Flexi time
    • Home Working Policy
    • Job Share Policy
    • Maternity/Paternity/Adoption/Shared Parental Leave
  • Our Work Life Balance Strategy extends the right to submit a Flexible Working Request to all employees, not just those with the statutory length of service.

7. We do not operate the approach of fire and rehire practices

  • All our recruitment, from fixed term to permanent, follow statutory employment law on appointment, right to work and include formal probation policies that ensure any dismissal is based on completion of a formal fair process, such as conduct, performance or absence.
  • Dismissal without due process is not possible.
  • In addition to our internal procedures, we are audited, and our insurance criteria requires assurance from their legal team before terminations can proceed.
  • Employee Forum members are available to staff for advice and assistance in all matters related to employment and are offered training and guidance/signposting to the correct information.

In addition to our commitment to the Fair Work First principles in relation to our own employees, we also apply these criteria to our procurement processes when tendering for goods or services (where it is relevant and proportionate to do so).

Bield’s Fair Work First Statement has been approved by our Employee Forum.