Lighthouse Charity and Belfast Harbour achieve Belfast Business Promise accreditation

Lighthouse Charity Belfast HarbourLighthouse Charity, Belfast Harbour and the Northern Irish Department for the Economy have achieved Belfast Business Promise accreditation as part of a pledge to create a more inclusive environment for employees.

The initiative was launched this month by Belfast City Council, which engaged with 130 individuals and 30 businesses when co-designing it. It follows a pilot programme that began last April, with 28 organisations testing the model.

It was designed by the council to cultivate an ethos of responsible and inclusive business practices, such as fair pay, good jobs, and secure contracts. It aims to create a community of businesses and organisations who want to hold themselves to high standards by adopting practices that deliver added value to society through employment, procurement and working in partnership with communities.

Organisations can choose from three membership tiers, including supporters, members and ambassadors.

Ryan Murphy, Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor, said: “The Belfast Business Promise is a key part of Belfast City Council’s commitment to inclusive and sustainable economic growth which is at the core of the Belfast Agenda, the city’s community plan. We work with multiple contractors, so this initiative will have a meaningful impact on Belfast’s workforce while so many navigate the cost-of-living crisis. We’ve made substantial progress, but so much more remains to be done.”

Ian Snowden, permanent secretary at the Department for the Economy, added: “The Belfast Business Promise aligns extremely well with the Economy Minister’s Economic Vision, which includes the goal of delivering good jobs for everyone. By focusing on issues like the real living wage, ending the use of zero-hour contracts, flexible working arrangements and reducing exploitative employment arrangements, the promise can help achieve that goal.”

Jenni Barkley, communications and community engagement manager at Belfast Harbour, said: “We’ve found the Belfast Business Promise accreditation process very beneficial in giving us a roadmap and advice on how we as employers can support a more inclusive and sustainable Belfast. We’re committed to playing our part and now we look forward to seeing many other businesses joining us so that together, we can help make Belfast a better place to live and work for all our citizens.”