Fair Work First: guidance to 30 June 2023

Guidance on Fair Work First criteria for public sector grants and contracts. Applies to funding awarded up to 30 June 2023.

This guidance applies to grants and contracts awarded up to 30 June 2023. Fair Work First guidance covering funding awarded from 1 July 2023 has been published. 

Purpose of the Fair Work First Guidance

Who the guidance is for

It is intended for those who are involved in awarding public sector grants, other funding and public contracts as well as those who receive funding through public sector grants, sponsorship arrangements with the Scottish Government and/or are involved in the delivery of contracts. In this regard, public bodies should give due regard to their dual role as an employer and in administering public funding.

Throughout the guidance, the terms 'employer', 'business' and 'organisation' are used interchangeably to describe the range of private, public and third sector organisations within the labour market and to which Fair Work First can be applied.

What the guidance aims to achieve

This guidance is designed to encourage and support employers to adopt fair work practices within their organisation.

In rolling out Fair Work First, the Scottish Government is primarily interested in the steps the employer is taking to deliver good quality and fair work. While Fair Work is relevant for all employers and all workers, the context in which it can be applied will vary depending on factors such as the type and size of the organisation and the sector and location in which it operates. The guidance aims to help organisations to identify and progress their fair work priorities as part of their continuous improvement approach. It does not set a minimum standard but provides direction on how the Fair Work First criteria can be adopted. It provides scope for organisations to do so in a way that is relevant and proportionate to the activity and/or contract they have agreed to deliver.

Learning from good practice

The guidance provides examples of what the Fair Work First criteria means in practice, which are intended to guide organisations in their approach. The examples are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive and employers should not feel limited in considering how workplace practices can be strengthened to enhance workers' experiences at work.


Email: katie.irvine@gov.scot

Back to top