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Fair Work First Statement

Foundation for Credit Counselling trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland is fully committed to the Scottish Government’s Fair Work First policy.

As a public-facing charity, serving the vulnerable and people in need, we recognise that the provision of an effective service requires investment in, and fair treatment of, the people who work for us.

1. We have an appropriate channel for effective employee voice

  • We hold quarterly meetings with elected colleagues representing all areas of the charity across the UK, including Scotland (Joint Consultative Committee) to update and inform about issues including but not limited to:
  •  The debt landscape
  •  Proposed changes to the service we provide
  •  Operational challenges
  •  How work will be organised
  •  Wellbeing and Health & Safety matters
  •  Provision of pay and benefits including pension
  • We work with an external partner to conduct an annual colleague engagement survey that provides colleagues with opportunities to provide anonymous feedback on what it’s like to work at Stepchange. We share the results of the survey with colleagues, identify charity wide action areas and hold follow up focus groups with colleagues at team level to identify areas for improvement at a granular level across the charity. We monitor progress against action plans and use pulse checks to ensure that actions are having the desired effect at directorate and team level.
  • We engage in constructive dialogue with our colleagues to address workplace issues and disputes in accordance with our grievance policy and procedure
  • Colleagues have a monthly 1:1 meeting with their line managers
  • We have policies in place to support employees in the workplace and have zero tolerance of bullying and other forms of abuse and harassment.

2. We invest in workforce development

  • We have charity inductions for all colleagues.
  • Client facing roles also attend structured role specific training Academies ranging from 5-8 weeks in length with full trainer and coaching support. These colleagues then progress into their client facing team into what we call our grad bay. This is a supportive environment where they continue to receive high levels of coaching as they begin to deal with client calls.
  • All colleagues are required to have clear objectives, and Personal Development Plans to support ongoing development beyond initial training and we have a programme of mandatory learning modules to ensure that ongoing competence in these areas is maintained.
  • We have a programme of In-Role Development for client facing colleagues which is linked to an increase in pay as they progress through the various levels.
  • All organisational change with a people impact is supported by in house, tailored learning and development solutions, developed to help colleagues understand and embed the change in their ways of working, reduce levels of anxiety associated with change, whilst maintaining a high level of competence and ensuring good client outcomes.
  • We have an in-house Learning Management System which houses training records and has a range of Learning Libraries with on demand learning solutions tailored to different audiences across the organisation (e.g., client facing roles and management etc.)
  • We support the development of Professional Competence by funding colleagues to complete externally recognised qualifications where possible.
  • We also hold an annual budget to support assisted learning, where colleagues can apply for funding support for the development of professional or vocational studies in relation to their current role or future career aspirations.
  • We make use of the apprenticeship scheme to support colleagues to undertake relevant programmes of development where they are available.
  • We have specific training for line managers ranging from line manager inductions to the recently implemented Leadership Programme.
  • We offer Mental Health First Aider Training to support colleagues’ wellbeing.

3. We do not use zero hours contracts inappropriately

  • We do not use zero hours contracts within the charity and we will only partner with organisations that meet our employment standards.

4. We take action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace

  • Our gender pay gap remains significantly lower than most organisations in the UK and overwhelmingly lower than organisations operating in the same sector.
  • We are committed to monitoring our gender pay gap and we are committed to achieving a zero gender pay gap.
  • We are confident that we have equal pay and intend to undertake an equal pay audit during 2023.
  • We have an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion strategy in place, which includes a roadmap that outlines the actions we will take to improve inclusivity and increase representation of wider society throughout the charity.
  • We support a flexible and hybrid working policy, encouraging part-time contracts and flexible working hours where possible.
  • We are a signatory of the Neurodiversity in Business Charter and support opportunities for those who are neurodivergent.
  • We are a signatory of the Race at Work Charter and have made a commitment to increase representation of ethnic minorities at board and senior level to 14% representation by 2025.
  • We are a disability confident employer, encouraging the retention and employment of disabled people and those with health conditions.
  • We provide workplace adjustments, making reasonable adjustments for disabled employees, or those who have a short, or long-term impairment that could affect their ability to work.
  • Actions outlined in the EDI strategy, coupled with our data collection and reporting practices, will ensure we continue to identify, understand, and remove any systemic barriers.

5. We commit to paying the Real Living Wage

  • The charity maintains Real Living Wage accreditation through the Living Wage Foundation and continues to pay all colleagues in excess of this figure

6. We offer flexible and family friendly working practices for all workers from day one of employment

  • We are committed to adhering to relevant employment legislation across the UK by offering a variety of flexible and family friendly working practices.

7. We oppose the use of fire and rehire practice

  • We only consider effecting change where there is a legitimate business need and discuss proposals for change with our Joint Consultation Committee or directly with colleagues impacted by the proposals. We consider any counterproposals put forward and make decisions based on our values and the joint interests of all key stakeholders.
  • We strive to achieve change through meaningful consultation and discussions with our colleagues
  • We do not use hire and rehire practices