Fife Council Business Charter

Purpose of the Charter

We are living in difficult economic times where local economies are exposed to the impact of globalisation and political uncertainties. This Business Charter provides a framework for the working relationship between Fife Council and local businesses so that together we can work towards both improving the economic performance of the region and reducing inequalities, thereby creating a Fairer Fife.

The Charter supports the vision and ambitions for a Fairer Fife described in the 2017-27 Plan for Fife agreed by Fife Council and its community planning partners in October 2017:

  • Supporting the growth and sustainability of Fife’s economy.
  • Creating employment and training opportunities for local and young people, including people with physical and mental health issues.
  • Being a good employer.
  • Supporting and investing in the local community.
  • Protecting and enhancing the environment.

We set out below what we will do to support all the region’s businesses whatever their size and sector and the steps we would like businesses to take to help make sure our economic growth is shared by all.

Click on the hyperlinks to find out more about the services and support Fife Council offers businesses and how you can access information and help for the different actions we would like you to take.

Fife Council Commitments

Supporting local suppliers of goods & services 

  • We will procure as many of our goods and services from Fife suppliers as possible, whilst ensuring we fulfil our statutory duty to secure best value on public spending and comply with procurement legislation
  • We will make it easier for local companies to tender for council contracts by, where appropriate, splitting procurement requirements into lots of reasonable sizes, carrying out early market engagement, and publishing a forward plan of anticipated procurement opportunities.
  • We will continue to offer a pilot cash flow service to our suppliers; and through active participation in the Supplier Development Programme we will provide training and support to Fife businesses to improve their chances of winning public sector contracts.
  • We will pay all undisputed invoices from our suppliers within 30 days.

Supporting business start-ups & growth

  • We will provide tailored advice and training relevant to your sector and location through Business Gateway Fife, along with support for staff recruitment and training, and help you find new markets and customers through our Trade Development Programme.
  • We will help you find business premises and will continue to invest in providing a wide range of commercial premises and businesses properties that are available to rent, including business and enterprise hubs supporting start-ups and growth.
  • We will work with relevant national organisations to provide a joined-up system of support and advice for your business that is easy for you to access.

Helping businesses comply with statutory requirements

  • We will help you to comply with planning and building regulations, trading standards, food safety, waste management and other statutory requirements that ensure the safety of employees and customers.
  • We will undertake appropriate enforcement actions against illegal activities in order to protect the public and the reputation of businesses in Fife.
  • We will continue to improve the speed, efficiency, accessibility and transparency of our business processes and transactions.

Supporting investment in infrastructure & connectivity

  • We will support and encourage investment in business infrastructure and connectivity, including business property, housing, key town centres, roads, public transport and digital connectivity.
  • We will seek to ensure there is an effective supply of employment land available for a range of uses and will bring further areas of vacant and derelict land back into use.

Developing our Young Workforce

  • We will continue to work to raise educational attainment, encourage enterprise and provide work-related skills so that Fife’s school leavers secure positive destinations.
  • We will encourage and support links between our schools, colleges, universities and businesses to improve young people’s understanding of, and readiness for, the world of work.

Creating a Fairer Fife

  • We will encourage our suppliers to employ locally, offer training to their employees and contribute to Fife’s economic, social and environmental well-being including through the use, where appropriate, of Community Benefit Clauses within our contracts for major works, goods and services.
  • We will refocus our employability support through the Opportunities Fife Partnership, to help those experiencing multiple barriers to employment, particularly those with mental health issues and people living in Mid-Fife.

Fife Business Commitments

Providing fair, healthy & safe workplaces 

  • We expect businesses to comply with all appropriate legislation in relation to conditions of employment, equalities, human rights and health and safety, including regulations prohibiting the use of blacklisting to prevent individuals from gaining work. We encourage businesses to actively promote positive employee relations, including constructive engagement with recognised trades unions and other forms of worker representation. Where appropriate, we will promote the use of fair work practices through our procurement processes.
  • We encourage businesses to demonstrate their commitment to the physical and mental health and well-being of their employees, through participation in initiatives such as the NHS Health Scotland Healthy Working Lives scheme and the Department for Work and Pensions Disability Confident Employer scheme.

Creating a Fairer Fife 

  • Fife Council is a Living Wage Employer and we encourage businesses in Fife to pay their employees the Real Living Wage, become accredited as Living Wage Employers, and support the designation of Living Wage Places in Fife, as a means of reducing in-work poverty.
  • We encourage businesses in Fife to sign-up to the Scottish Business Pledge, the Scottish Government’s voluntary code of good business practice.
  • We ask local businesses to support our ambitions for a Fairer Fife by where possible providing employment opportunities for those with mental health issues, physical disabilities and learning difficulties.
  • We ask businesses to operate contracts that provide suitable flexibility to both employer and employee and not to use potentially exploitative zero hours contracts.

Developing our Young Workforce 

Supporting & investing in our local communities

  • Where possible, we encourage businesses to advertise for and recruit staff locally, including through our Opportunities Fife Partnership employability support initiatives.
  • We ask businesses to adopt ‘local-first’ purchasing policies and source goods and services from local suppliers.
  • We ask businesses to actively participate in local networking and knowledge sharing forums, such as the Fife Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses, and to actively contribute to consultations on policy.
  • We encourage businesses to play an active role in the wider community by, for example, supporting local charities, community groups and local initiatives and/or by encouraging their employees to participate in volunteering activities. Such community benefits may be a requirement of some of our procurement activity.

Protecting & enhancing our environment 

  • We expect businesses to demonstrate a commitment to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, to minimise waste and to reuse/recycle wherever possible thereby supporting council policies in this area
  • We expect businesses to play their part in protecting Fife’s historical, cultural and natural assets by minimising the negative environmental impacts associated with their direct operations and from the goods and services they purchase.

Investing in your workforce skills & innovation 

  • We encourage businesses to up-skill and re-skill existing employees by providing access to and support for appropriate training and development opportunities.
  • We encourage businesses to look to innovation as a means of improving efficiency, increasing productivity and finding new customers and markets.

Make your pledge

There are two ways you can show your commitment to doing your bit to making sure Fife’s economic growth is shared by all - by

For further information on the Fife Council Business Charter, please email alison.laughlin@fife.gov.uk.

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