Following a host of measures implemented by the SNP Government over the last Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon has pledged a further raft of measures to make work in Scotland fairer, in light of the pandemic – using Scotland’s few powers in this area that are not reserved to Westminster.
Key pledges from a re-elected SNP Government are:
Reviewing and expanding the SNP Government’s Fair Work First programme to include - for instance - more flexible and family-friendly working practices
Supporting a specific accreditation programme for Living Hours similar to the accreditation currently given to Living Wage employers
Supporting working families - particularly those on low incomes - by building a system of wraparound childcare, doubling the Scottish child payment and beginning work on a minimum income guarantee.
Creating a National Care Service which - as well as many benefits to those receiving care - will allow the SNP Government to introduce a National Wage for care staff and enter into national pay bargaining for the first time.
Establishing a £10 million fund to support companies in piloting and exploring the benefits of a four day working week - with a view to a more general shift once the Scottish Parliament has the powers to do so.
The SNP shares the ambition of the Fair Work Convention for Scotland to be a Fair Work Nation by 2025.
Addressing the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon said:
“COVID-19 has shone a light on the fragilities in our society - whether that’s health inequalities, insecure employment, low pay or access to public services. In learning the lessons of how we handled the pandemic, our recovery can’t simply involve turning the clock back to 2019.
“Although many of the key powers remain in the hands of the Tories at Westminster, where we can act to improve employment security and enhance the quality of work - we will.
“Our Fair Work First programme makes adoption of fair work practices part of the criteria for winning public contracts and receiving grants. It uses the financial power of government to make fair work the norm.
Kenneth Gibson added:
“The SNP is the party of fairness and equality across Scottish society and while we are doing the groundwork now, Scotland really needs all the powers to do it completely, including over employment law.
“Unlike Labour, which argued vehemently for employment law to be left in the slippery hands of the UK Tory Government when they had a chance support it being devolved, the SNP has always been crystal clear and consistent in our position that all powers should be fully devolved.
“The only way to elect a government that does its best for Scotland’s workers is by giving both votes to the SNP and re-electing the SNP Government”.