Ravi Badat from Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Chris Smallwood from Anchor Removals explain what 'good work' means to them and what can be done to support it at a local level.
About Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester is a city region made up of ten councils, and home to more than 2.8 million people with an economy bigger than that of Wales or Northern Ireland. The region has 106,995 businesses, with a significantly high number in the foundational economy, which supplies every day essential goods and services, compared to the rest of the UK. Enterprises are concentrated in the sectors of construction, retail and professional, scientific and technical services as well as business administration & support services.
Interview with Chris Smallwood, CEO, Anchor Removals
Anchor Removals is a small business with 11 staff and growing. Chris owns 95 per cent of the business and took over in 2008
What does ‘good work’ mean to you?
For me, the employees and their families are the most important people – that understanding is the foundation of what good work is. Nothing is more important than providing workers with good wages, secure employment and a safe working environment. I used to struggle to understand what good employment looks like, The Good Employment Charter provides a really useful explanation that you can work with.
What can be done to support good work at a local level?
The small business sector is a major employer that needs educating about good work. Business support programmes can encourage them to think more about the impact they have on their workers and local communities. The important thing about a charter is that it is a clear indicator, for a business, of what good employment looks like. The key thing that local government can do is recognise and promote those businesses who are doing the right thing. What we crave is profile and recognition.
What are the main challenges and how can they be overcome?
There’s always a danger that employers focus on themselves without looking at the bigger picture. We are dealing with competitors who pay staff low wages and operate below the VAT threshold, offering a very low-cost service. The way we work around negativity and fear, is that there’s a business case. We don’t look at the bottom-line figure in isolation, we look at the money we’re going to save from engaged staff that stay with you.
What is your top tip for local businesses?
The thing that everyone has got to realise is that the Great British public believe in good working practices. As more and more people get sucked into the cost-of-living crisis, they’re suddenly realising ‘we’ve got a duty to make sure that we purchase ethically’. The Good Employment Charter is just one, very good example, of how that can be delivered.
Employees and their families are the most important people – that understanding is the foundation of what good work is.
Chris Smallwood, CEO Anchor Removals