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New Construction Charter will apply to developments in London

The Mayor of London has backed a new construction charter which sets out to improve the city’s construction standards, protect workers, and outlaw poor construction practices.

Sadiq Khan has made signing up to the union Unite’s Construction Charter a requirement of building projects under City Hall’s control.

The Construction Charter leads the way in best practice by ensuring building contractors and sub-contractors under the control of local authorities provide apprentice training, a safe working environment, and the industry rate of pay to workers.

From now on, the pioneering charter will apply to major City Hall development projects, starting with the St Ann’s hospital site in Haringey, for which the Mayor is now seeking a development partner.

In July, the Mayor also launched his Good Work Standard, a benchmark for high employment standards, with fair pay at its heart. The Good Work Standard has a set of criteria covering fair pay and conditions, wellbeing, skills and progression, diversity and recruitment.

Developed in collaboration with London’s employers, trade unions and professional bodies, it sets the benchmark the Mayor wants every London employer to achieve, including paying all staff at least the London Living Wage, currently £10.55 an hour.

‘We are proud to back Unite the Union’s Construction Charter, which leads the way on world-class employment standards for construction workers across London,’ said James Murray, deputy Mayor for housing and residential development.

‘At City Hall we are using all the resources and powers we have to build more council, social rented, and other genuinely affordable homes. The Charter means that workers and residents can be confident that projects we are involved with will follow best practice on conditions and pay for construction workers, and I urge other authorities to join us,’ he added.

According to Peter Kavanagh, Unite regional secretary for London and Eastern England, by working together the GLA and Unite will use their influence to ensure construction projects meet the highest standards. ‘The Charter will make a difference by ensuring workers can operate in a safe environment. Vitally it gives workers the right to speak out on issues and to be paid a fair rate for the job,’ he said.

The best construction staff are needed to achieve the ambitious housing and regeneration targets, Rokhsana Fiaz, Mayor of Newham, pointed out. ‘The Charter will not only improve employment standards for construction workers employed by this council, but also ensure that building projects undertaken by the council are delivered to the highest standard,’ Fiaz said.