1.1 The Fair Work Action Plan set out a range of actions to promote fair and inclusive workplaces across Scotland, incorporating actions on the gender pay gap, the disability employment gap, and the anti-racist employment strategy. These are intended to support delivery of the Scottish Government’s shared ambition for Scotland to become a leading Fair Work nation by 2025.
1.2 A consistent theme throughout the Fair Work Action Plan is the importance of continual development of the evidence base to enable barriers to Fair Work to be identified and addressed through future policy development. The Action Plan also explicitly recognised the importance of monitoring and reporting progress on our actions.
1.3 To support these ambitions, the Action Plan set out a commitment to develop this Evidence Plan. This plan focuses on further work the Scottish Government would undertake to:
- Monitor the Fair Work context and progress we are making over time to ensure our actions respond to change;
- Draw lessons from other comparable economies on what is achievable and what has worked in different contexts;
- Address data and wider evidence gaps in relation to a wide range of issues across the different dimensions of Fair Work; and
- Monitor and measure the impact of our current actions, including drawing lessons from actions we will deliver as part of this plan.
1.4 This document sets out the approach the Scottish Government intends to take, engaging with partners, to:
- Monitor the progress Scotland is making towards becoming a leading Fair Work nation;
- Monitor and evaluate the delivery of actions set out within the Fair Work Action Plan and progress towards achieving intended outcomes; and
- Develop and enhance the available data and evidence around Fair Work in Scotland to inform and support future policy development in this area.
1.5 The Evidence Plan is intended to support the implementation of the Action Plan and future development of Fair Work policy, in keeping with the ROAMEF policy cycle approach. Activity to monitor and evaluate the initiatives set out in the Action Plan will provide information on progress around implementation. Evaluation activity and wider evidence gathering will also inform future policy development around Fair Work, by building a greater understanding of how specific policies operate in practice, and by informing the ‘case for change’ for future policy activities.
Scope of the Evidence Plan
1.6 This Evidence Plan outlines the evidence needs to support the Fair Work Action Plan over its duration from 2024 to 2025. While it is recognised that the current Action Plan is built on previous Scottish Government plans, this Evidence Plan focuses on the current Fair Work Action Plan only and does not examine actions or evidence needs from previous plans.
1.7 The Fair Work Action Plan set out the range of priorities that were being taken forward across Scottish Government that contributed to delivery of the Scottish Government’s Fair Work agenda. Evidence that is collected through delivery of this Evidence Plan will contribute to the evidence base for the National Strategy for Economic Transformation’s Programme 5, ‘A Fairer and More Equal Society’. This Evidence Plan may help inform the development of the evidence base for the wider Scottish Government priorities. However, the articulation of these approaches lies outwith the scope of this Evidence Plan.
1.8 The outcomes for the Fair Work Evidence Plan are shaped by the National Performance Framework (NPF), and the 'Fair Work and Business’ National Outcome. The Scottish Government is currently undertaking a refresh of the NPF. Should the refresh lead to substantial changes in the national outcomes and national indicators relating to Fair Work, analysts will refresh the monitoring and evaluation framework set out in the Evidence Plan.
Engagement undertaken to develop this Evidence Plan
1.9 Scottish Government analysts have engaged with external stakeholders on the broad scope and content of this Evidence Plan during its development. A summary of the engagement activities undertaken is set out in Annex 1.
1.10 The Fair Work Convention, an independent body advising Scottish Ministers on Fair Work, is a key stakeholder in the Fair Work Action Plan and this Evidence Plan. Its co-chairs and members have provided feedback on the Evidence Plan's scope and direction, and its recent report on measuring Scotland's progress as a leading Fair Work nation has influenced the Evidence Plan. Scottish Government analysts will work closely with the Convention over the coming months to consider how the report’s recommendations are reflected in the Evidence Plan’s implementation.
1.11 The Fair Work Convention regularly commissions and undertakes independent analysis on a range of issues to support its deliberations and advisory role. The Convention’s evidence programme lies outwith the scope of this Evidence Plan.
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