Scottish Government announces Fair Work principles

25 March 2020

The Scottish Government and the Scottish Trades Union Congress have agreed Fair Work principles which the Government believes employers should now apply in workplaces.

The principles are the result of meetings between the STUC and Scottish Government ministers which have been taking place twice a week since the COVID-19 outbreak worsened.

The principles cover a wide range of issues – from protecting workers against infection to payments to facilitate home working. The full agreement is available here.

Although the principles are not legally binding, Prospect believes reps and members who are concerned about their employer’s behaviour will now have an additional tool to ensure they protect and support their staff.

The Scottish Government, as an employer, has already reached agreement with the four civil service unions: Prospect, PCS, FDA and POA which will be binding on civil service employers under the control of Scottish Ministers.

The Government has also written to other public bodies in Scotland indicating their view that they must now do likewise. You can download the letter here.

Prospect national secretary for Scotland, Richard Hardy, who is part of the Scottish Government/STUC COVID-19 group, said:

“Once again, the Scottish Government has engaged with the unions early, and sees our value as civic society partners.

“Our early meetings were certainly full and frank, and there are a significant number of issues and problems which we are working to overcome.

“However, these agreements show the value of having trade unions involved at the highest level. We hope that members and reps will be able to use these agreements to ensure that they are safe and their jobs are protected.

“Now is the time to encourage friends, family and co-workers to join a trade union at work. At this time of unprecedented crisis, together we are stronger.”