The Fair Work Convention has identified construction as a sector that experiences significant challenges in terms of Fair Work practices. While Scotland has made progress in applying Fair Work to public procurement contracts, the Convention has highlighted the need for more robust monitoring and evaluation of how Fair Work is being applied in practice. The Convention has indicated that it will undertake an inquiry into Fair Work in the Construction sector in 2019.
The Scottish Government will work with Scottish Futures Trust and industry partners to develop a Fair Work Charter for the Construction sector aligned with the dimensions of the Fair Work Framework. The Charter will seek to improve practices of contractors and sub-contractors and will build on progress already achieved, including Unite the Union’s Construction Charter which a number of local authorities have already signed up to.
The inclusion of a dispute resolution procedure within construction contracts reflects the importance of ensuring that action can be taken at the earliest opportunity to address any collective employment relations disputes which arise during a project. For the employer, an effective dispute resolution procedure reduces the possibility of delays and disruption to the successful completion of the project. For the worker, it can help reduce work-related stress and help ensure an effective voice in the workplace. The Scottish Government will therefore promote the use of collective dispute procedures in construction contracts. Furthermore, as Fair Work First is developed, we will explore with stakeholders how dispute resolution can be applied in construction projects, including publicly funded projects as a means of demonstrating the ‘genuine workforce engagement’ criteria.