We want Scotland to be the best place to live, work, invest and do business.
Fair Work is the foundation for this, and indeed, a prerequisite for it to happen in a sustainable way. We believe that Scotland can make strides in Fair Work that will underpin our economic success, as well as the wellbeing and prosperity of our people, communities and businesses.
We know that many employers are already applying Fair Work practices and we know that Scotland’s leading firms are as productive as elsewhere. However, we also know that we need to do more to engage with those employers to share best practice so that we can unleash the creativity, talent and skills of all Scotland’s people. We believe that our public sector can work in genuine partnership with the private and third sectors to create the conditions for this to happen.
Fair Work is an investment in everyone for everyone. Fair Work can improve organisational reputation and recruitment, reduce staff turnover, and lead to diverse workplaces with a richness of talent and a diversity of ideas.
For workers, it brings increased financial security, better physical health and greater psychological wellbeing. For business, it brings more engaged, committed and adaptable workers who spot challenges and opportunities, solve problems, offer insight and ideas for business improvement and create value.
Fair Work is also about breaking down and removing barriers to opportunity. We are all faced with the immediate risks of Brexit. It has therefore never been more important to make the most of the ingenuity and contribution of our people.
All organisations are adapting to changes in demographics, working patterns, skills needs and technological trends. We understand that this places pressure on employers to reduce costs and deliver more. We will ask employers to work with us to meet those challenges, putting Fair Work at the heart of the Scottish approach to growing the economy. This is the essence of Fair Work First.
And the Scottish Government, as an employer, will show leadership on how Fair Work can drive up productivity and maximise opportunity for employees.
We will work in partnership with employers across all sectors, with workers, the Scottish Trades Union Congress and the Fair Work Convention to ensure Scotland remains at the forefront of progressive policy thinking and action around Fair Work.
I am delighted to announce that the Scottish Government and the Fair Work Convention will host governments and organisations from across the globe at an international Fair Work Summit later this financial year to share best practice and show off what Scotland has already achieved.
I look forward to working together as we take the next steps in creating the Fair Work Nation that we all aspire to.
Jamie Hepburn MSP
Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills