21. Scottish Government As An Employer
As an employer, the Scottish Government has shown leadership in adopting fairer working practices. This includes:
- becoming the first national government in the UK to be Living Wage accredited;
- promoting the payment of the real Living Wage to those working on government contracts;
- offering pay parity for agency employees from the outset of their assignment (pay parity is a requirement from week 13 of an assignment under the Agency Worker Regulations);
- full partnership working with trade unions and continued commitment to facility time and check-off for trade union representatives; adopting a policy of no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts (for example using zero hours contracts when people are working regular hours; exclusive contracts that stop flexible workers working for other people);
- offering a wide range of flexible working options;
- becoming a Carer Positive employer with flexibility and support for employees who are unpaid carers;
- not utilising unpaid internships; and
- having a duty to increase diversity and inclusion.
We are determined to build on this strong commitment and have developed a Fair Work Agreement between Scottish Ministers and the recognised civil service trade unions. This Agreement sets out a range of principles on the conduct of employee and industrial relations in line with the principles of the Fair Work Convention's Framework. The Agreement demonstrates commitment to ensuring that bodies in the Scottish Administration are Fair Work employers and are committed to continually striving to improve policies and practices in that regard. This can best be achieved in partnership with trade unions.
The Agreement is intended to be used by bodies under the direct control of Scottish Ministers to help embed Fair Work in local industrial relations with their recognised trade unions. This includes the bodies covered by the Scottish Government Main Bargaining Unit. Additionally, the remaining civil service departments and Non Ministerial Departments which are not in the bargaining unit (Crown Office, Registers of Scotland, Scottish Prison Service, Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service) have confirmed that they will also adopt the agreement. Trade unions will use the principles in the agreement to enter into discussion with the employers noted above to embed them in local industrial agreements.
Looking forward, we will work with our Non Departmental Public Bodies and Agencies through our Sponsorship teams to help embed Fair Work across their own organisations.