We’ve partnered with The Good Business Foundation to adapt the Good Business Charter accreditation and make it accessible for small businesses with less than 50 employees. This streamlined version of the GBC allows smaller firms to stand out from the crowd and lead the way on a range of important issues, from ethical employment practices to prompt payments.
Founded by Julian Richer, founder of Richer Sounds, the UK’s hi-fi retailer, the Good Business Charter is an independent not-for-profit organisation with a mission to encourage and recognise responsible business practices. To sign up to the charter, a business must meet, or be working towards meeting, the ten components of the charter.
Being part of the Good Business Charter demonstrates a clear message to current and potential customers that your business is committed to operating responsibly and treating staff with respect and fairness. With accreditation, you're part of a bigger movement to change business for the better.
"We welcome this opportunity to work closely with FSB and take an important step forward to ensure the accreditation works for small businesses. Richer Sounds started as a small business and as it grew, responsible business practices have always been at the heart of our approach to all stakeholders. We want the GBC to work equally well for small businesses as for the largest UK companies and are excited about the potential small businesses now have to lead the way in being recognised for their ethical practices."
Good Business Charter founder and Richer Sounds Managing Director Julian Richer
In conversation with Julian Richer
We spoke to Julian Richer, founder of Richer Sounds, about the Good Business Charter.
Julian is passionate about ethical capitalism and in 2019 set up the Good Business Foundation to champion those organisations who prioritise responsible business practices.
Listen now and find more small business news via Small Biz Talks on Soundcloud.
What makes up the Good Business Charter?
In order to join the GBC a business must meet the criteria below
Do you pay your directly employed and regularly contracted staff the real living wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation or have plans to work toward that goal?
Do you only offer or use zero or minimal hours contracts when it is mutually beneficial and accepted by both you and the employee?
Do you actively support and encourage employee well-being treating those with legitimate sickness in a fair and respectful manner and promote access to impartial support and advice for employees with physical and mental health needs (this can include signposting to NHS services or charities)?
Is there a way where every employee can make suggestions or raise issues with senior management? (If you recognise a trade union, do you commit to regular engagement?)
Do you put robust measures in place to encourage diversity at key stages of recruitment, selection and retention of employees? And have you put in place robust measures to prevent harassment or victimisation in the workplace with access to independent third-party support if necessary?
Do you encourage the development of good environmental and net zero carbon practices as an organisation and by your employees, suppliers and customers, seeking to minimise your impact and commit to improve it, depending on the size, sector and relevance of your organisation?
Do you commit to pay your taxes where applicable, only use tax allowances for the purpose intended, and be transparent in your relationship with HMRC, providing all relevant information and to cooperate in resolving any disputes?
Do you have a clear commitment to customers and prioritise addressing and learning from customer feedback, seeking to put negative issues right?
Do you commit to ethical sourcing of anything you purchase – such as by applying standards set out in the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code where relevant?
Are you committed to paying your suppliers promptly, and within at least 30 days?
“Small businesses are embedded in their community and do so much good for their employees, supply chains and the planet. But this isn’t often recognised or celebrated. The new small business Good Business Charter provides a way to demonstrate this on your website or to your clients, for the very first time.”
Martin McTague, Policy and Advocacy Chairman, FSB
Real people, real stories
Simon Poole Director, Jerba Campervans
Jerba Campervans is a small business with only 13 employees, but we see our Good Business Charter accreditation as a vital mark in our commitment to being an ethical and sustainable company. Going hand in hand with being 100% employee-owned, the accreditation is also becoming increasingly important for many customers who simply wish to see businesses behaving responsibly and doing the right thing. It’s great for customers, great for the business and great for wider society too!
Lara Omoloja Director, Greenwich Pantry
At Greenwich Pantry, our GBC accreditation helps us stay on track with sustainability goals. Achieving these goals are key to our overall success as a food business since decisions we make now, impacts the future for all of us directly or indirectly. We believe small businesses will benefit from seeking accreditation early in their development for the good of their communities.
Interested in joining?
We’ve worked with the Good Business Foundation to offer GBC accreditation free to small businesses who employ under 50 employees for the first year. Businesses who apply and join before 31 January 2022 will receive a second year of membership at no extra cost.
To find out more and apply click the button below.
How your FSB membership can help
If you're looking to achieve Good Business Charter certification your FSB membership can give you advice, guidance and support to meet the criteria.
Our Employment Protection Scheme offers advice and guidance on all aspects of staff management. Whether it's the living wage or zero hours contracts, we've got you covered.
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