Fair work action plan: annual report

This annual report provides an update on progress achieved on actions within the Fair Work Action Plan since its publication in 2019. It also sets out our future priorities for continuing to advance our Fair Work agenda across Scotland as part of our economic recovery and renewal.

3.10. Social Care Sector

Our commitment

Responding to the Fair Work Convention's Social Care inquiry recommendations.

What we have achieved

Social care workers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic response and have our heartfelt thanks for their hard work and sacrifice during this challenging time. Fair Work in Social Care is a key priority in the joint Scottish Government and COSLA Reform of Adult Social Care Programme launched in 2019. The Fair Work in Social Care Group which was established to take forward the recommendations of the Fair Work in Scotland's Social Care Sector 2019 report was initially paused during the pandemic. However work in relation to improving terms and conditions and recruitment for the social care workforce has been progressed at pace to respond quickly to emerging issues that were identified.

The work of the Group re-started in June and is working to develop and implement proposals to embed Fair Work principles that will lead to better terms and conditions and more rewarding roles for the social care workforce. The group will also address the recommendations in the Convention's 2019 report. The conclusions of the Fair Work in Social Care Group are currently being developed and will be finalised following the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, which was published on 03 February.

Our future priorities

The Scottish Government has a long-standing commitment to the principles of Fair Work and gender equality and we are pleased to see the Independent Review of Adult Social Care supports the full implementation of the Fair Work Convention's recommendations. We will now reflect on the recommendations made by the Independent Review to ensure the workforce has better terms and conditions, improved training and development opportunities and more rewarding roles.

Fair Work and Social Care

"Scotland's dedicated social care workforce provide critical and invaluable support to many people across Scotland; this has been no more evident than during the Covid-19 pandemic. The core tenets of our Fair Work agenda, ensuring secure contracts, fair pay and an effective voice for workers are vital to the sector and we are committed to embedding them. Improving adult social care gives us a huge opportunity to invest in high quality and Fair Work, – improving the lives of people working in the sector and those using the services they provide."

Jeane Freeman MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport

Jeane Freeman MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport

The initial proposals of the Fair Work in Social Care Group have been developed and planning for implementation is underway. The proposals include a national approach to the implementation of the real Living Wage and development of minimum standards of terms and conditions for social care workers. As a priority, we will work with our stakeholders to agree a national approach to implementing the real Living Wage for Adult Social Care workers – for 2021 and in future years. By the end of May 2021, we will establish a minimum set of standards which will reflect the importance of effective voice, what this will look like and how it will be applied across all of our social care workforce.

Progress will also be made on the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan to develop an approach to treat investment in childcare and social care as economic infrastructure, as part of recognising the value that paid and unpaid care plays in economic and social wellbeing.


Email: Katie.Irvine@gov.scot

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