Critique of Scottish Government’s ‘Fair Work’ policy published

1 June 2021

Today, the Jimmy Reid Foundation publishes a critique of the Scottish Government’s ‘Fair Work’ policy.

‘Fair Work’ has been the flagship programme of the SNP Scottish Government on employment matters since 2016. The accompanying ‘Fair Work Framework’ sets out to make Scotland a ‘fair work’ nation by 2025 so the new Scottish Parliament elected on 6 May 2021 will take responsibility for that as it runs until 2026. And, it is the SNP minority government in particular that will be measured against this goal. The findings of this paper are that the measures taken to make progress towards attaining this goal are weak and limited because there is no compulsion placed upon employers to implement them; that the rhetoric of SNP Scottish Government of 2016-2021 is not matched by its actions; and that it is improbable that the goal will be reached without significant changes in approach, specifically requiring the use of statutory compulsion, especially in regard of public procurement. Within the conclusion, a number of recommendations are made to address and ameliorate these issues.

The full paper is available here: JRFFWFassessment2021a.