Fair Work First

Eco-Congregation Scotland is committed to implementation of Fair Work First as an employer.

Appropriate channels for effective voice, such as trade union recognition
We have regular staff meetings, including informal catch-ups and one-to-ones, and often invite trustees to be involved as appropriate, particularly the office holders of the charity (chairperson, depute chair, treasurer) who have more of an executive role as the employer. Trade union membership is encouraged for our staff. We currently have three part-time and one full-time directly employed plus one full-time on seconded placement from the United Reformed Church. Volunteers are essential in delivering our programme across the year and we encourage them to be fully involved in the planning and work of the charity, including ideas and opportunities to support staff.

Investment in workforce development
We encourage staff and volunteers to consider wider opportunities in training and development for their own role and that of colleagues and our volunteers. We are looking to third sector umbrella organisations for further opportunities this year to ensure greater potential for development of our workforce.

No inappropriate use of zero hours contracts
There are no zero hours contracts. All part-time staff have fixed annualised hours and a regular monthly salary over the twelve months of each year as agreed in their contracts of employment.

Action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace
Since the current manager’s appointment in September 2018, the charity has progressed from four male employees to two female and two male employees plus a male secondee. Staff contracts are based on the same agreed pay scale and grading increments, ensuring there is consistency and equality in avoiding any gender pay gap. We continue to seek opportunities to encourage and reflect the diversity of Scotland in all our work practices.  While staff have primarily been working from home, and continue to work from home, we are engaging with volunteers in communities throughout the country and increasingly with diverse faiths and interfaith groups in line with our charitable objectives. We continue to be committed to a more diverse and inclusive work environment including the recruitment of new trustees for the charity.

Payment of the real Living Wage
All staff receive a regular monthly salary at a higher rate than the Real Living Wage.

Offer flexible and family friendly working practices for all workers from day one of their employment
All staff have flexible working stated clearly in their contracts of employment and are aware of the charity’s ongoing support for family-friendly working practices and a healthy work-life balance. Part-time staff in particular work on an annualised hours basis over twelve months, enabling them to plan around family, student and other work commitments on a week-to-week basis across each month. We have recent experience of ensuring staff are able to appropriately work around health issues and appointments at their convenience, including generous sickness pay if needed. We recognise that trusting and enabling staff to work as flexibly as possible helps ensure better performance at work and less pressure with regard to health and family commitments.

Oppose the use of fire and rehire practice
We oppose the use of fire and rehire. Any staff employed on fixed-term contracts, typically lasting 12 months dependent on funding for the charity, are employed on a continuing and improved basis.

We are keen to develop further our commitments to Fair Work First criteria, with the full support of the charity’s trustees.