SNP's Fair Work Convention is 'failing' ordinary Scots, report finds
Visiting Fellow Gregor Gall featured in <i> The Herald </i> on 1 June 2021, discussing a new report criticising the Scottish National Party's flagship employment scheme, the Fair Work Convention.
Visiting Professor Gregor Gall published the report findings for the Jimmy Reid Foundation thinktank, which deemed the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) flagship empoyment scheme as weak, limited and oversold.
The Fair Work Convention was established by the SNP in 2015 with the aim to make Scotland a ‘Fair Work Nation’ by 2025, where everyone would be afforded “an effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect”. The scheme aims to tackle a wide-range of employment issues such as the gender pay gap, lack of inclusion and diversity in workplaces, zero-hour contracts and low pay.
The Herald reports on Professor Gall findings that it is ‘improbable’ that Fair Work will achieve its goals by 2025, and that the scheme was unwilling to use the full array of state levers it had as a devolved administration. The report findings state that Fair Work have been simply providing encouragement without penalities to employers to enact change and better protect employee rights, and had blamed Westminster, who sets employment law, for shortcomings.
Professor Gall sets out that the SNP’s Fair Work Convention had failed to allow for an accreditation agency to verify whether employers offered fair work, and that the scheme had "prepared to take the credit for outcomes" not necessarily driven by the scheme, such as change brought about by trade unions and more employers offering the living wage.
Professor Gall called the findings a demonstration of a “collective laissez faire' perspective of minimal state intervention”. He further added:
Within this set-up, the place of labour will always be at least second best.
Gregor Gall is a Visiting Professor of Industrial Relations at the Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change.