Fair Work: action plan

This document sets out the strategic approach the Scottish Government is taking to help achieve the 2025 vision for Fair Work.

4. Overview of Actions

Supporting employers to adopt Fair Work practices

We recognise there are challenging times ahead. The high priority accorded to Fair Work during the COVID-19 pandemic by both the Scottish Government and key stakeholders signals the importance of Fair Work to workers, businesses and the economy. There is broad agreement that Fair Work must be at the heart of Scotland's economic recovery and renewal.

By working in partnership with employers, workers and trade unions, we aim to build on the extensive evidence base that demonstrates Fair Work is good for business, as well as for workers, and that by embedding Fair Work in workplaces now, businesses are more likely to benefit from sustainable growth.

We are committed to working with employer organisations to implement the Fair Work Action Plan. We will also continue to work with the Fair Work Convention to promote understanding and application of the Fair Work Framework in workplaces across the country. The Fair Work Convention's 2019/20 work plan also includes a focus on employer engagement.

The Scottish Government is already working with businesses in a number of important areas including:

  • Establishing the Scottish National Investment Bank and National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland.
  • Creating a single digital portal for business support – spanning our agencies and simplifying and accelerating the process of accessing our support.
  • Launching £20 million of support to businesses looking to increase exports.
  • Showcasing Scottish businesses and assets to investors and people around the world, through the Scotland is Now campaign.
  • Committing over £1 billion to deliver 100% coverage of city region growth deals throughout Scotland and supporting a diverse and vibrant rural economy.
  • Expanding the role of the CAN DO Business Innovation Forum to enable it to consider and take action on the economic opportunities and challenges of new technologies.
  • Supporting Entrepreneurial Scotland to play a broader role in helping Scotland become a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative society.
  • Launching a 'Come to Scotland campaign' to attract talent and investment and help mitigate the impact of Brexit.

In response to employer engagement already undertaken, we are committing to a range of actions to support employers adopt and benefit from fairer workplace practices.

We will:

  • Work with employers and partners to deliver Fair Work First.
  • Develop a Fair Work Framework benchmarking tool to help employers assess their current practices and provide guidance on how to make their workplaces fairer.
  • Create a new online Fair Work service for small and micro employers so they can access support and guidance from a central point.
  • Deliver the refreshed Scottish Business Pledge to build scale, impact and capability.
  • Instil a Fair Work ethos in our future workforce and business leaders.
  • Co-host an International Fair Work Summit with the Fair Work Convention.

Delivering Fair Work to a diverse and inclusive workforce

These actions highlight current and planned work of the Scottish Government and stakeholders, including the STUC, the Fair Work Convention and The Poverty Alliance to address challenges in delivering Fair Work in specific sectors.

We will:

  • Extend the Workplace Equality Fund to align with the Fair Work First commitment.
  • Continue to support strong trade unions.
  • Promote collective bargaining.
  • Promote Fair Work in the collaborative economy.
  • Promote Fair Work in the construction sector.
  • Take forward actions related to the Fair Work Convention's Social Care Report.
  • Increase the number of people employed who are paid the real Living Wage and in secure work.
  • Promote awareness of and flexibility for unpaid carers.

Embedding Fair Work across the Scottish Government

The Enterprise and Skills Board's Strategic Plan recommended that the Scottish Government "embed progressive business models, workplace innovation and Fair Work in all instruments of government and agencies, ensuring business support is conditional upon a commitment to Fair Work".

Fair Work First is an important statement of our intent in this area.

Embedding Fair Work across all of our functions will be challenging. To support that process, we will take a number of actions.

We will:

  • Ensure continued Ministerial direction and support through Fair Work and Gender Equality Ministerial Working Group.
  • Appoint a Scottish Government Fair Work Champion.
  • Develop Directorate-level Fair Work Action Plans.
  • Engage with the UK Government and devolved nations on Fair Work and employment law.
  • Demonstrate leadership as an employer
  • Measure, monitor and report on progress in becoming a Fair Work Nation.


Email: Ruaridh.Hayes@gov.scot

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