Fair Work action plan 2022 and Anti-Racist Employment Strategy 2022: business and regulatory impact assessment

Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) of the Fair Work Action Plan 2022 and Anti-Racist Employment Strategy 2022.

3. Relevant guidance, legislation and policy

This section provides an overview of the relevant guidance and legislation for undertaking a BRIA, alongside relevant national policy offering an understanding of the context in which the RAP and ARES have been developed. A detailed policy review is provided in Appendix D.

3.1 Relevant guidance and legislation

3.1.1 Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments (BRIA): Toolkit[16]

This Toolkit published by Scottish Government in 2022, sets out guidance and information on how to complete a BRIA.

BRIAs help to assess the likely costs, benefits, and risks of any proposed primary or secondary legislation, voluntary regulation, codes of practice, guidance, or policy changes that may have an impact on the public, private or third sector (such as charities, community groups and other non-profit-making organisations).

The purpose of a BRIA is to provide an understanding to interested parties of: why the government is proposing to intervene; options the government is considering and which is preferred; how and to what extent new policies may impact interested parties, business and Scotland's competitiveness; and, the estimated costs and benefits of proposed measures.

The Scottish Government recommends and encourages the completion of a BRIA as best practice to assess the impact of new legislation, as well as other changes such as voluntary guidance or policy changes, even where they do not necessarily present additional obvious burdens. In such cases, it can either help confirm understanding that the impact will not change or identify and address unintended impacts which have not been identified previously.

The content of a BRIA should be proportionate to the problem involved and the size of the proposal.

A revised BRIA Template[17] was published by Scottish Government in December 2022 and provides a standardised structure for completing a BRIA. While this revised template has not been used to complete this BRIA which was commissioned before its publication, this BRIA has been completed with regard to the guidance set out within both the BRIA Toolkit and previous BRIA Template. Therefore, the new areas of the updated template are out of the scope of this BRIA.

3.1.2 The Human Rights Act[18]

The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom introduced to incorporate the rights of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. Public authorities must respect and protect the human rights set out through the articles of the Act. Articles relevant to this Fair Work agenda include:

  • Article 4: Freedom from slavery and forced labour
  • Article 11: Freedom from assembly and association;
  • Article 14: Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms.

Human rights implications are also considered in the context of upcoming International Human Rights Covenants and Conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In assessing the impacts on human rights legislation, this report considers:

  • If there is any danger of someone's rights being infringed by the actions of the Fair Work agenda
  • If the actions of the Fair Work agenda will strengthen people's ability to enjoy these rights

3.2 National Policy

3.2.1 Fair Work Framework[19]

The Fair Work Convention published the Fair Work Framework in 2016. It sets out a vision that 'by 2025, people in Scotland will have a world-leading working life where fair work drives success, wellbeing and prosperity for individuals, businesses, organisations and society'.

The framework defines Fair Work through the five dimensions: effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment, and respect. Fair work is considered crucial to supporting worker behaviours and attitudes that can create positive outcomes for individuals, employers and society:

3.2.2 National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET)[20]

The National Strategy for Economic Transformation outlines an ambition for a successful and 'fairer' economy by 2032 driven by a vision to create a wellbeing economy.

The 'fairer and more equality society' programme of action seeks to 'Reorient our economy towards wellbeing and fair work, to deliver higher rates of employment and wage growth, to significantly reduce structural poverty, particularly child poverty, and improve health, cultural and social outcomes for disadvantaged families and communities.'

3.2.3 National Performance Framework (NPF)[21]

The National Performance Framework is Scotland's wellbeing framework setting out a vision for a more successful, sustainable, and inclusive Scotland.

The Fair Work and Business National Outcome measures progress towards Scotland's vision for 2025. Performance against this outcome is measured through indicators, including but not limited to: pay gap, employee voice, gender balance and payment of the real Living Wage.

3.2.4 Developing the Young Workforce: Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy[22]

The Youth Employment Strategy sets out how the Scottish Government will implement recommendations from the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce with the ambition to improve youth employment levels beyond pre-2008 and prioritise equal access to work relevant educational experience for all young people, despite the barriers they may face.

3.2.5 Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2022-2026[23]

The 'Best Start, Bright Futures' delivery plan sets out a vision for tackling child poverty in Scotland, following the foundations of the 'Every Child, Every Chance' publication in 2018.

To successfully tackle child poverty, the plan will support families with children through people-centred services to access financial, emotional, and practical assistance regardless of gender, race or status.

3.2.6 Covid Recovery Strategy[24]

In response to the inequality and disadvantage both exacerbated and exposed by the Covid pandemic, the Scottish Government published the Covid Recovery Strategy.

The strategy outlines the unprecedented shock to Scotland's economy and job market brought about by the pandemic and prioritises the security and resilience of communities, businesses, society, and the economy by embedding fair work, skills and employability interventions.

Actions from this outcome include gender, ethnicity and disability employment action plans, an ethnicity pay gap strategy, real Living Wage commitments and other Fair Work standards.

3.2.7 Ambition Opportunity Place: Scotland's Third National Planning Framework (NPF3)[25]

The National Planning Framework (NPF) is a long-term plan for Scotland which sets out where development and infrastructure is needed in the country. The current NPF sets out a spatial strategy with four aims for the country to become: "a successful, sustainable place; a low carbon place; a natural, resilient place; and a connected place".

The "successful, sustainable place" objective aims to create high quality, diverse, and sustainable places that promote well-being and attract investment. Within this, business is a key focus, and how places should provide opportunities for business investment and growth to stimulate innovation and diversification of industry.

3.2.8 Revised Draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4)[26]

The NPF4 builds upon the NPF3 and sets out spatial principles, regional priorities, national developments and national planning policy for Scotland.

It is intended to support the development of sustainable, liveable and productive places across Scotland. To achieve productive places, policies aim to attract new investment, build business confidence, stimulate GDP, export growth and entrepreneurship, and facilitate future ways of working.

NPF4 also places greater emphasis on rural businesses and the rural economy, with Policy 29 intending to "encourage rural economic activity, innovation and diversification" and to ensure rural communities and businesses are supported.

3.2.9 State of the Economy: Office of the Chief Economic Advisor[27]

This overview of the economic indicators and outlook in Scotland as of October 2022 reveals a significant deterioration in the medium term economic outlook is set out, driven by inflationary pressures impacting both households and businesses. Economic activity, uncertainty, expectations and confidence were also impacted by the UK mini budget in 2022.

3.2.10 Employability Shared Measurement Framework[28]

Scottish Government's Employability Shared Measurement Framework aims to create a shared understanding of how the impact of employability services is measured for the people and areas they aim to support.

The purpose of employability provision delivered through the No One Left Behind approach is to support people facing disadvantage in the labour market towards and into sustainable and fair work. The five key themes are outlined in Appendix C.

3.2.11 Race Equality Framework for Scotland 2016 to 2030[29]

This framework sets out the Scottish Government's approach to addressing racism and inequality between 2016 and 2030. Through showing leadership in advancing race equality and addressing barriers faced by racialised minorities, the Scottish Government will assist racialised minorities in realising their potential.

The Framework was created to prioritise the needs and experiences of Scotland's racialised minorities. It outlines how the Scottish Government will work in partnership with government agencies and key stakeholders to address opportunities for progress through six themed Visions.

3.3 Partnerships

3.3.1 No One Left Behind Delivery Plan[30]

No One Left Behind is a collective approach to delivering an employability system which is flexible, people-centred, and responsive.

Progress has been made through the Disability Employment Action Plan[31], Shared Measurement Framework[32], the Scottish Approach to Service Design[33] and Fair Start Scotland extension[34].

3.3.2 Fair Start Scotland[35]

Fair Start Scotland, a national employment support service, launched in April 2018 and has been supporting people with significant barriers towards and into sustainable work.

The service is entirely voluntary and offers personalised, one to one support, tailored to individual circumstances and has supported over 51,000 starts since launch in April 2018.

3.4 Other factors

Individuals and businesses face ever-changing burdens dependent on the cumulative impacts of socioeconomic crises. Those relevant to today's populations include Covid, EU Exit, the cost-of-living crisis and the cost of business.


Email: FairWorkCommissioning@gov.scot

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