Fair Work

Everybody deserves fair work. Yet for an increasing number of people, work is becoming more intense and more precarious. Real wages have fallen across the economy and discrimination continues. The link between mental health and work is becoming better understood. Most employment rights are set by the UK Government. The STUC campaigns along with our sister organisations, the TUC, Wales TUC and Irish TUC for legislation at Westminster to protect workers. We also support the devolution of employment law for Scotland.

Employment law is decided at Westminster, but there is still much that we can do here in Scotland.

The STUC successfully pushed for the creation of the Fair Work Convention and welcomed the publication of the Fair Work Framework. We also welcomed the Fair Work Action Plan, published in 2019.

Central to both these initiatives is providing security and opportunity through strengthening the voice of workers and increasing their control. This can be achieved through recognising unions in all workplaces in Scotland. The Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework now include collective bargaining as a desired outcome and Fair Work First will make Government funding reliant on better working practices.

The Fair Work Framework identifies three sectors which desperately need more union representation and the introduction of collective bargaining. This will allow us to set standards and provide the respect and security workers need. These sectors are

• Early Learning and Childcare. The Scottish Government will create a forum to explore sectoral bargaining as a long-term aim with implementation of real Living Wage being the first step. Membership should include the Scottish Government, employers and trade unions.

• Social Care. The Scottish Government will work with partners to consider and respond to the recommendations set out in the Fair Work Convention’s Social Care Inquiry Report to ensure that fair work is embedded in the delivery of social care services including the procurement process.

• Hospitality. Create dialogue between key employers and trade unions in the hospitality sector to explore the benefits and challenges of implementing Fair Work practices, including establishing collective agreements.

• Construction. The Scottish Government will work with Scottish Futures Trust and industry partners to develop a Fair Work Charter for the Construction sector aligned with the dimensions of the Fair Work Framework. The Charter will seek to improve practices of contractors and sub-contractors and will build on progress already achieved, including Unite the Union’s Construction Charter which a number of local authorities have already signed up to.