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The Social Value Model: Theme 4 Equal opportunity

Theme 4 of the Social Value Model addresses two government policy outcomes: reducing the disability employment gap; and tackling workforce inequality. Taking the first of these outcomes, the aim is to address areas such as under-representation of disabled people, and under-development of disabled people in new skills relevant to the contract.

As well as giving an understanding of the issues affecting disabled people in the workforce and collecting their views and expertise to address the problems, the guidance provides examples on the types of activities that might demonstrate and describe the tenderer’s approach to meeting the two sub-criteria.

Action to increase the representation of disabled people in the contract workforce

  • Measures to reduce barriers to securing more jobs for disabled people in the contract workforce, for example, inclusive and accessible recruitment practices, and retention-focussed activities, and providing equality of opportunity for disabled people into employment, such as becoming a Disability Confident

Support disabled people in developing new skills relevant to the contract, including through training schemes that result in recognised qualifications

  • Inclusive and accessible development practices.
  • Measures to offer development opportunities for disabled people in the contract workforce, for example offering a range of quality opportunities with routes of progression if appropriate, for example, T Level industry placements, students supported into higher-level apprenticeships.
  • Public reporting on the health and wellbeing of staff comprising the contract workforce, following the recommendations in the Voluntary Reporting Framework.

For both of these sub-criteria, the Guide for line managers is available, which provides advice on recruiting, managing and developing people with a disability or health condition.

The second policy outcome is workforce inequality. Again, detailed guidance on the model is available here; however, below are the three award sub-criteria together with examples from the guidance on appropriate activities which might demonstrate the tenderer’s approach.

Demonstrating action to identify and tackle inequality in employment, skills and pay in the contract workforce

  • Measures to tackle inequality in employment, skills and pay in the contract workforce, such as inclusive and accessible recruitment practices, and offering a range of quality opportunities with routes of progression if appropriate such as T Level industry placements and students supported into higher-level apprenticeships.
  • Time-bound action plans are informed by monitoring to ensure employers have a workforce that proportionately reflects the diversity of the communities in which they operate, at every level. For example, including multiple women, or others with protected characteristics, in shortlists for recruitment and promotions, and regular equal pay audits.

Supporting in-work progression to help people, including those from disadvantaged or minority groups, to move into higher paid work by developing new skills relevant to the contract

  • Inclusive and accessible development practices, including those provided in the Guide for line managers, is available, which provides advice on recruiting, managing and developing people with a disability or health condition.
  • Measures to support in-work progression to help people in the contract workforce to move into higher paid work by developing new skills relevant to the contract, such as using skill-based assessment tasks in recruitment, and having jobs at all levels open to flexible working from day one for all workers.

Demonstrating action to identify and manage the risks of modern slavery in the delivery of the contract, including in the supply chain

  • Measures to identify, mitigate and manage modern slavery risks relating to the contract, for an example demonstrating that the contract workforce has access to an independent democratic trade union or other forms of worker representation, and access to grievance mechanisms to report incidents or suspected incidences of modern slavery through whistleblowing and reporting.
  • Outlining policies and practices to be applied or put in place for the contract, such as pre-employment checks, to mitigate and manage modern slavery risks.
  • Methods of influencing staff, suppliers, customers, communities and/or any other stakeholders with respect to modern slavery risks, including campaigns promoted via websites, social media, posters, training, events, and through local charities.

The government sees social value as a vital component for advancing equality, creating training and better employment opportunities, and combatting modern slavery. Tenders are likely to see the inclusion of these outcomes in contracts where there is an opportunity to tackle training, employment, skills and pay inequality in the workforce, or in contracts where there is a high risk of modern slavery, such as construction or food processing.

For more information on responding to social value tender questions, you can contact us free on 0800 612 5563 or email info@executivecompass.co.uk.

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