We published the Fair Work Action Plan, 'Becoming a Fair Work Nation by 2025 in December 2022. It sets out actions to promote fair and inclusive workplaces across Scotland. It includes actions on tackling the gender pay gap, the disability employment gap, and our anti-racist employment strategy - driving fair work practices for all. Section eight of the action plan, Evidence, Monitoring and Reporting, outlines a commitment to form an oversight group. It says:
'We will establish a Fair Work Oversight Group, chaired by the Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work. Its membership will consist of key stakeholders that represent the interests of:
- equality groups
- trade unions
The group will also include representation from:
- members of the precursor Gender Pay Gap Working Group,
- Disabled People’s Employment Short Life Working Group
- Anti-Racist Employment Strategy Short-Life Working Group
The Anti-Racist Employment Strategy Short-Life Working Group will advise on activity to support delivery, providing a challenge function and considering progress on the actions within the plan.'
The purpose of the Fair Work Oversight Group is to advise on activity to support delivery of actions within the Fair Work Action Plan (and Anti-Racist Employment Strategy), providing a challenge function and considering progress on actions.
The Fair Work Oversight Group will provide an advisory and challenge function, driving progress of the actions detailed within the 2022 Fair Work Action Plan (including those relating to the Anti-Racist Employment Strategy). It will also:
- drive progress on wider delivery of these Fair Work actions across government
- informs the development of annual updates to the relevant Parliamentary committee
- brings key stakeholders together and enables consideration of intersectionality
- supports and shares ways of making improvements in practice;
- seeks to resolve issues and challenges
- supports the National Strategy of Economic Transformation (NSET) governance process
- ensures linkages with and no duplication of the New Deal for Business Group and its Wellbeing Economy Sub Group
The role of group members is an advisory one, providing support, challenge, and feedback, to better enable and support the successful delivery of the actions detailed in the 2022 refreshed Fair Work Action Plan incorporating actions from the Anti Racist Employment Strategy.
As set out in commitment in the Fair work Action Plan, the Oversight Group will involve key Fair Work stakeholders as well as representatives of the previous three stakeholder groups as proposed members. This is in order to ensure the views of both employers, workers and relevant specific issue groups are represented.
The role of Chair of the Group will be held by the Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy or other relevant Ministers.
Membership of the group will be at the invitation of the Scottish Government and members are expected to attend meetings wherever possible. However, the substitution of a deputy is acceptable on the understanding that the deputy will provide a report on the meeting to the substantive member and the group they represent.
We expect that membership of the Group will entail:
- preparation for meeting – 1 hour
- participation in meeting – (approx.)1.5 hours
- providing post-meeting reflections / taking forward actions/ engaging with and reporting back to their communities – up to 2 hours
Where the group member does not have an employer to cover costs of participation or the employer is unable to do so it is anticipated that for each meeting in total members who request payment will be remunerated for up to approx. 4.5 hours’ work which equates to £120.00.
Any claim for further hours worked will require supporting evidence and, except by exception, must be agreed in advance. The fee will be paid on receipt of your invoice as set out in the Working Agreement.
The group will meet on a biannual basis, ordinarily in the middle and at the end of the calendar year, before the annual report is submitted to parliament.
Meetings in year one may follow a different schedule, to allow various practicalities, including terms of reference to be agreed. Outside the usual cycle of meetings, members may also receive information by e-mail inviting comment and offering the opportunity for discussion where relevant.
The lifetime of the Oversight Group will be until December 2025 unless informed otherwise by the Chair to group members, supporting Scotland becoming a leading Fair Work Nation by 2025, and underpinning the ambitions in the First Ministers prospectus over the period to 2026
Subject to the approval of the core group, and provided suitable justification is provided in line with the remit of the core group, focused, time limited subgroups can be created. They will support the work of the main oversight group to deliver the Fair Work Action Plan actions and to allow more detailed or thematic discussions to inform the considerations of the core group. To note where the issue lies within the remit of another separate Scottish Government supported Group, the issue will be referred to that Group to consider.
Subgroups will be topic specific, with a relevant chair ordinarily being drawn from the main group. However Scottish Government officials may take on the role of subgroup chair at the Minister’s request.
Secretariat for sub groups will be supported by Scottish Government officials. Support with secretariat function from member organisations would be helpful.
In order to give appropriate consideration to issues and outputs, it is recommended that no more than two sub-groups run concurrently.
Subgroups will be formed as and when the main oversight group deem it necessary, with the frequency of meetings set by the main group. We anticipate that they would report back to the next core Oversight Group meeting (i.e. six month maximum timeframe).
If sub groups complete work prior to next core Oversight Group meeting, they can report by correspondence in advance.
Membership of these groups is on an ad-hoc basis, and members may invite subject specific experts from outside the core group as required, provided the agreement of the core group is sought first. Subject specific experts would also be eligible to claim reimbursement as above.
Secretariat support for the oversight group will be provided by Scottish Government officials.
- Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, FairWork and Energy
- Anna Ritchie Allan, Close the Gap
- Andrew Carter, National Health Service Borders
- Charandeep Singh, Scottish Chamber of Commerce
- Clare Reid, The Scottish Council for Development and Industry
- Dave Moxham, Scottish Trade Unions Congress
- David Lonsdale, Scottish Retail Consortium
- David Taylor, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
- Emma Congreve, Fraser of Allander Institute
- Heather Fisken, Inclusion Scotland
- Professor Ima Jackson, Glasgow Caledonia University
- Jatin Haria, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
- Councillor Katie Hagmann, Coalition of Scottish Local Authorities
- Lee Ann Panglea, Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development
- Professor Patricia Findlay, Fair Work Convention
- Stephanie Griffin, Equality and Human Rights Commission
- Representatives from Non-Departmental Public Bodies Chief Executives’ Forum
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