The right to just and favourable conditions of work, including remuneration, is established in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and as such the Scottish Government’s commitment to Fair Work is steadfast. This commitment is demonstrated through Fair Work outcomes in our National Performance Framework and is why Fair Work underpins our approach to economic and labour market policies. Fair Work is a journey which requires a culture and values shift in our approach to work and workplaces and many businesses and other employers are at the forefront of that transition to a new model of success. In collaboration with employers, promoting, delivering, and sustaining Fair Work for everyone is an enduring principle of the Scottish Government and our shared approach and priorities at national and workplace level will need to adapt as we progress along this journey.
The long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market are potentially significant, particularly for our ways of working, and our health and wellbeing. We know that meaningful, Fair Work can provide important benefits for people’s mental health and wellbeing. In our Mental Health: Transition and Recovery Plan we have committed to working closely with stakeholders, including trade unions and employer groups, to promote mentally healthy workplaces where mental health and wellbeing is meaningfully discussed, promoted and supported, and where stigma and discrimination are addressed. In addition to this, our Covid Recovery Strategy will bring together the actions we will take across government and with partners in the next year to address the impact of the pandemic on those hardest hit in our country. It will take a focused approach to support for families and households on low incomes, setting out the training and employment support available for those furthest from the labour market and how we will support the wellbeing of children and young people, who we know have been significantly affected by the pandemic. Government, employers and unions must embrace what we have learned to facilitate and encourage the positive working practices that have emerged. There are of course a number of other significant factors continuing to shape our economy and society, notably: EU Exit, tackling climate change, changing demographics and the impact of technological change such as increased automation. All of these impact on the labour market, work, on workers and on workplaces.
Beyond this, many organisations are adapting to changes in demographics, working patterns, skills needs and technological trends, forcing employers to invest, adapt and be more productive. We will work in partnership with employers, unions, representative organisations across all sectors, and the Fair Work Convention to ensure Scotland remains at the forefront of progressive policy thinking and action around Fair Work. Our approach is built on public and private sector leadership, collaboration, and using our strategic influence by working across government and with key cross-sector partners to drive Fair Work. Central to this approach will be the new National Strategy for Economic Transformation, which will set out policies to deliver greater, greener and fairer prosperity. Just transition plans, for industry, regions and communities, will also be aligned to support the delivery of this strategy.