3.9. The Construction Sector
Encouraging the inclusion of a collective disputes procedure in construction contracts and developing a Fair Work Charter for the construction sector.
What we have achieved
The Fair Work Convention is currently carrying out an inquiry into Fair Work in the Construction sector to better understand the Fair Work challenges in this area. The Convention plan to report on its findings in 2021. We expect the report will contain recommendations for improving Fair Work across the sector.
Under current procurement rules, it is not possible to include a collective disputes procedure in construction contracts or indeed any other contracts. However, Fair Work First criteria will be considered and applied in public sector procurements where it is relevant and proportionate to do so. We would expect the effective voice criterion, to drive greater engagement between workers and employers in all workplace matters, including through trade unions or other appropriate worker representative/s. Our Fair Work First Guidance illustrates good practice in resolving workplace disputes.
Our plan was to work with Scottish Futures Trust and industry partners to develop a Fair Work Charter for the construction sector aligned with the dimensions of Fair Work. However, we subsequently agreed to defer this work until after the Fair Work Convention's Construction Inquiry reports its findings in order to inform any work around a charter. More recently, the Programme for Government for 2021 includes a commitment for the Scottish Government to develop an Accord with the construction sector by Spring 2021, setting the framework and the principles for future collaboration, in line with the recommendations of the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland. The Scottish Government will reflect upon both of these developments to consider if a Fair Work Charter for the sector remains appropriate and if so, the priorities it should seek to address.
Our future priorities
We are continuing to support the development of an Accord between government and the construction industry to ensure Fair Work principles are fully incorporated. We are also keeping abreast with the Fair Work Convention's Construction Inquiry and in due course shall reflect upon its findings and work with construction colleagues across the Scottish Government to agree and progress improvement action, including development of a charter if required. This will give us the opportunity to consider any further action that may be needed to drive Fair Work practices across the sector.