HS2 signs framework agreement with trade union

The initial framework agreement sets out how HS2 and trade unions will handle issues of employment, development and diversity throughout the project’s supply chain.

Measures in the framework agreement include a commitment to the national living wage across the project; an enforceable commitment to direct employment; and a commitment to meet the highest standards of workplace health, safety and wellbeing.

It also includes commitments to sustainability, apprenticeships and training throughout the construction of the project.

As part of the agreement, a committee will be formed chaired by HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby and featuring its director of HR and managing director for construction, as well as the TUC’s general secretary Frances O’Grady. It will also include two members from RMT and Unite, with one attendee each from Aslef, GMB, TSSA, and Ucatt.

The committee will meet four times a year during the initial phase of the project, with biannual meetings thereafter.

Mr Kirby said: “Our mission is to be a high-performing, innovative organisation that delivers value for money by applying the best in worldwide design and construction techniques.

“To accomplish this mission, we need to lead a safe, valued and effective workforce. This fundamental agreement underlines our responsibility as a direct employer as well as a commitment to the wider workforce that will deliver HS2 across our supply chain.”

Ms O’Grady added that HS2 was a “massive opportunity for workers in the construction and rail sectors”, and said the agreement committed to “maximising benefits to the UK supply chain”.

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BDC 305 Jun 2023