Valued Worker Scheme

Last update: 18 Jan 2024
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Valued Worker Scheme

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Today the GMB, NASUWT, UNISON and Unite unions are relaunching the Valued Worker Scheme that aims to recognise education employers who value their employees.

The unions recognise that there are already many employers that value their employees and work constructively with Trade Unions. Unfortunately, however, there are also many that do not.

The Valued Worker Scheme is a process for recognising those employers who do treat employees well and for encouraging engagement with those that do not.

The Scheme promotes the adoption of policies and practices that demonstrate employers’ commitment to treating all employees fairly, equitably and with dignity through the adoption of six principles.

Valued Worker Scheme Principles

Employers will commit to treat all employees fairly, equitably and consistently by:

  1. Enabling all employees to have a safe, secure and enjoyable working environment;
  2. Ensuring the wellbeing and dignity at work of all employees;
  3. Providing CPD for all employees;
  4. Negotiating good pay and conditions which include a commitment to the Foundation Living Wage, and covers outsourced workers;
  5. Having formal agreed mechanisms for consultation and negotiation, working in partnership with employees and trade unions;
  6. Ensuring policy development and working practices are informed by the use of information and evidence.

Employers signing up to the Scheme initially will not be expected to be fully compliant with all the principles, but will be expected to outline their priorities for the year ahead in working towards them.

Schools can sign up to the Scheme irrespective of their current Ofsted grading.

The Valued Worker Scheme should be brought to the attention of any employers you believe would be suitable and after consultation with your Trade Union counterparts.

Joining the Valued Worker Scheme

To join the Scheme, the employer should identify one of the principles that they will work towards over an agreed time period, usually one year, and agree with the trade union representatives the objective(s) to be met, what activities will be undertaken and what success criteria will be applied.

An initial objective may be, for example, to ensure that there are effective mechanisms for consultation and negotiation with trade unions, if these do not already exist.

At the end of the period, there should be a review and if the objective has been met, the cycle should begin again with a different principle.

Alongside this specific objective(s), any new policies or initiatives should be consistent with the principles, i.e. there should not be any detriment; and opportunities to work towards the principles should be utilised wherever possible.

Further information on the Valued Worker Scheme can be found here:



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