Fair Work First guidance

Fair Work First guidance for organisations seeking and awarding public sector grants, contracts and other funding – applies to grants awarded on or after 1 July 2023 and eligible agriculture grants awarded on or after 1 April 2024.

Understanding Fair Work and why it is important

Work is an important part of adult life and is critical to our wellbeing and shaping how we live. The Fair Work Convention's Framework defines Fair Work as work that offers effective voice, fulfilment, opportunity, respect and security. These dimensions of Fair Work will manifest in different ways in different workplaces, aiming to balance the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers. They should be visible in the attitudes, behaviours, culture, policies and practices within an organisation – demonstrating the value placed on fair work and equal opportunity in work. The Fair Work First criteria align with the dimensions of Fair Work, and are focused on:

  • providing a decent standard of living and income;
  • offering security of contract, including hours and earnings; other entitlements including sick pay and pension;
  • fostering an environment where workers' views are actively sought, listened to and can make a difference, including through a stronger role for trade unions;
  • giving opportunities for all to learn, develop and progress;
  • creating a healthy and safe environment, where individuals' wellbeing is actively supported;
  • enabling people to have a good work-life balance;
  • supporting people to feel valued and respected and that they have a sense of purpose in work and wider society;
  • creating fair, diverse and inclusive workforces; and
  • promoting innovation and productivity.

These elements can reinforce each other, creating a virtuous circle of positive practices, behaviours, attitudes and outcomes that can help organisations to remain competitive and to grow and prosper, and creating a culture which ensures workers are treated fairly.

Fair Work is key to supporting people and business to flourish and is critical to achieving a modern, high value, inclusive economy – today and in the future. Enabling a more inclusive, people-centred culture of work which supports workers and employers to shape their organisations together, and to develop the skills needed for a successful future, is key. Talented people are at the heart of every successful operation. By creating the conditions for workers to develop and utilise their skills, Fair Work can enable workers to play a full and active role - underpinning high productivity, performance and innovation and contributing to healthier, wealthier and more inclusive societies.

Fair Work is an agenda for all, and requires employers to go beyond statutory employment rights and protections, including in relation to equality in the workplace.


Email: FairWorkCommissioning@gov.scot

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