Fair Work

While employment law is reserved to the UK Government, the Scottish Government has been robustly working to promote fair working practices which form an important part for Scottish public sector organisations to meet the sustainable procurement duty. The Supplier Development Programme offers free training which explores resources on sustainability, such as fair work, environmental issues, and social issues such as equality and diversity, and fair and ethical trading.

What is fair work?

Fair work is work that offers all individuals an effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect.

  • It balances the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers.
  • It generates benefits for individuals, organisations and society.

The Fair Work Convention’s vision, which the Scottish Government shares, is that by 2025 people in Scotland will have a world-leading working life where fair work drives success, well-being and prosperity for individuals, businesses, organisations and society. In spring 2021 the Convention released its Fair Work Manifesto for Scotland to aid it the goal for Scotland becoming a leading Fair Work Nation.

In its 2019/2020 Economic Action Plan, the Scottish Government attached fair work criteria to grants, other funding streams and public contracts to help ensure payment of the living wage, no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts, action to tackle the gender pay gap, investment in skills and training and genuine workforce engagement, such as trade union recognition. The Scottish Government also updated its policy on the conditionality of Fair Work in public sector contracts in 2021.

Suppliers can find out more from the Scottish Government's advice about how public bodies and suppliers on how to address fair work practices, including the real living wage through best practice in a public procurement process.

How can I include my business's fair work practices in my bid?

The Scottish Government has produced practical tools to use at key stages of the procurement process in a toolkit on fair work practices in procurement. The full toolkit includes information sheets, practical tools, and examples. However, the Supplier Development Programme has listed some resources that may be particularly relevant to suppliers:

Want to access more useful information and resources like this?

The Supplier Development Programme has developed FREE resources specifically for Scottish-based SMEs, including a jargon buster, information on GDPR, sample policy templates, and more.

If you wish to access these, please register and log in.

Once you are logged in, SMEs and supported businesses that are based in Scotland will have full access to information, resources, toolkits and templates on the SDP website that are designed with you in mind.

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