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.

3.5. Co-Host an International Fair Work Summit With The Fair Work Convention

Our commitment

To showcase our Fair Work achievements nationally and internationally.

What we have achieved

Due to the unprecedented circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions, we have been unable to deliver an International Summit.

However, the Scottish Government has taken every opportunity to promote and collaborate on Fair Work internationally, seeking to identify best practice elsewhere and share learning from Scotland's own approach.

This includes on building on our priorities to create a wellbeing economy, of which Fair Work is a hallmark.

We are working on this with other like-minded countries through the wellbeing economy governments (WEGo) network, which enables cross-government learning and collaboration to understand the key priorities and methods for delivering a wellbeing economy.

Scotland founded the WEGo group alongside New Zealand and Iceland in 2018, and last year, Wales and Finland also joined the network. Since its launch, WEGo have organised policy labs where member governments have engaged in practical exchange on specific policy areas of shared interest.

These collaborations continue to influence the Scottish Government's approach to economic recovery and how the wellbeing approach can guide COVID-19 responses. Discussions have highlighted the importance of protecting the most vulnerable, directing the recovery towards the green economy, the importance of work and protecting/creating jobs and the need to rethink economic contract and collaboration with businesses and wider society.

Our future priorities

Scottish Ministers are clear that Fair Work is more important now than ever and we will work with the Fair Work Convention to design and deliver an International Fair Work Summit early in the next Parliament. We will continue to look across the globe, including to our Wellbeing Government partners, to address the challenges ahead, learn from what works best and promote our unique Scottish approach on the worldwide stage.

We will also continue to build our relationship with our WEGo partners, learning from each other to create a wellbeing economy. The WEGo network will hold virtual policy labs throughout the course of 2021, and plan to consider the role of the private sector in delivering a wellbeing economy across economic, social and environmental dimensions.

Case Study

Learning from Danish good practice

We were aware of Denmark's success in advancing effective labour market policies in conjunction with social partners, and recognised the comparable population size, and similar economic challenges to Scotland. The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills took the opportunity to visit Copenhagen in August 2019 to discuss policy approaches for improving disabled peoples' employment and tackling the gender pay gap with Danish Government Ministers, employer representative organisations and trade unions. Visits to two disability organisations to see the Danish approach in practice were particularly informative.

Scottish Government officials have subsequently had further contact with senior researchers from VIVE – the Danish Centre for Applied Social Sciences – whose work focuses on labour market inequalities, in order to share approaches and labour market information regarding disabled people and the gender pay gap.


Email: Katie.Irvine@gov.scot

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