Guest Blog: Shan Saba - Director, Brightwork
Brightwork: promoting corporate responsibility through example, incentive and cultural change
Brightwork has Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) threaded through its DNA. As a company, it has always stood for giving back more than it takes out. Brightwork came into existence following a management buyout and was designed from day one to be a cheerleader for CSR.
At every level, from its two-thirds female Executive Board – encouraged by family-friendly flexitime – down to the water in the water coolers - which is supplied by AquaAid, the business campaigning for clean water in the developing world – there is hardly a part of Brightwork untouched by the CSR mantra.
Its ethos is that there is no aspect of its behaviour that can be exempt from improvement, or being realigned to meet more socially conscious goals. Brightwork runs a weekly discussion hour on Fridays, implements staff nominations on which charities they want the business to support, suggests initiatives on charitable fund-raising and keeps CSR at the forefront of everyone’s focus.
As Scotland’s first Recognised Service Provider working with the Living Wage Foundation, in the recruitment sector, Brightwork has been at the forefront of ensuring a fairer future for all Scotland’s workers and has co-operated closely with The Poverty Alliance in promoting the real Living Wage to all its clients.
Since making the commitment that all its headquarter and core staff would be paid at least the real Living Wage, Brightwork has encouraged its clients to adopt the measure by offering a reduction in recruitment fees if the client promises to pay the candidate the real Living Wage.
Brightwork has also overseen year-on-year increases in clients paying the real Living Wage through a combination of ‘nudge’ power and persuasion, demonstrating tangible business benefits resulting from a corporate culture of paying it, and a series of incentives for those clients who pledge to pay successful candidates the real Living Wage.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said:
“We applaud companies like Brightwork, which uses its influence to encourage fair dealing. The culture that Brightwork has championed indicates that businesses are increasingly paying the real Living Wage.”
In the three years it has applied its policy of wage fairness, Brightwork has persuaded its clients to hire nearly three quarters of all temporary workers at or above the real Living Wage of £8.75.
Progress has been steady: in the year to October 2016, 63.12 per cent of candidates – all in temporary positions - were paid the real Living Wage. By October 2017, 67.23 per cent had reached that level, and this year’s figures are indicating that 74.38 per cent of temporary workers are paid it.
This has been part of a climate where the real Living Wage has been steadily gaining traction in Scotland, with over 1100 employers - nearly double that of the previous year – currently holding Living Wage accreditation.
Brightwork intends to continue promoting the real Living Wage not only as ethical corporate behaviour, but also as an excellent way of boosting retention, minimising absenteeism, and increasing loyalty.
Brightwork are shortlisted for the Recognised Service Provider Award in the 2018 Living Wage Champion Awards. The Awards celebrate individuals and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the Living Wage movement, find out more here.
For further information, please contact: Shan Saba, Director Brightwork, 1st Floor, 193/199 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4HU. Tel: 0141 272 8117.