Fair work and procurement

This page is being reviewed.

For further information on Fair Work First in Scottish Public Procurements, including an updated Fair Work First question, please see SPPN 06/2021 or email scottishprocurement@gov.scot.

We believe that a supplier's approach to fair work practices, including paying the real Living Wage, can have a positive impact on the quality of goods, works and services in a public contract. We expect public bodies to promote fair work first in all relevant procurement processes while ensuring the appropriate balance between quality and cost of the contract, including the impact of cost on working conditions.

We expect suppliers delivering public contracts to adopt and demonstrate appropriate fair work first practices, ensuring that these are delivered for all workers engaged on delivering the public contract.

Namely:

  • appropriate channels for effective voice, such as trade union recognition
  • investment in workforce development
  • no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts
  • action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace
  • providing fair pay for workers (for example, payment of the real Living Wage)
  • offer flexible and family friendly working practices for all workers from day one of employment
  • oppose the use of fire and rehire practices

Real Living Wage as a requirement in procurement

The Scottish Government and the Fair Work Convention recognise pay as a clear way that an employer can demonstrate a commitment to their workforce alongside wider Fair Work First criteria.

Payment of the real Living Wage to workers on public contracts can be applied by all Scottish public contracting authoritiesIt is possible to require the real Living Wage to be paid to workers on public contracts, where:

  • Fair Work First practices, including payment of the real Living Wage, is relevant to how the contract will be delivered
  • it does not discriminate amongst potential bidders
  • it is proportionate to do so
  • the contract will be delivered by workers based in the UK

The real Living Wage is a rate of pay that is enough to ensure that those receiving it can have an acceptable standard of living, and applies to all employees 18 and over.

​​​​​​​It is a voluntary wage rate that is calculated by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Independent Living Wage Commission. The rate is reviewed annually.

Fair work procurement guidance

We have published the following guidance covering fair work practices, including the Living Wage, in procurement: