While any improvements that offer workers more protection are welcome, this report by the UK Government does not go far enough to address the issues experienced by those in low paid precarious work, or to address Fair Work challenges faced across the labour force, and there remains deep concern that leaving the EU will open up the potential for a significant reduction in a whole range of workers’ rights and other social protections.
An additional concern is the lack of prominence given to effective voice in the UK Government’s proposals. In Scotland, we have a distinct approach to effective voice which includes supporting strong industrial relations. While the Good Work Plan fails to acknowledge the role of trade unions in securing workplace democracy and increasing productivity, our Fair Work Action Plan demonstrates our ongoing commitment to working with our trade union partners.
The Scottish Government will continue to engage with the UK Government as its proposals develop. We will reiterate our call for employment law to be devolved and we will set out how our alternative approach can more effectively create fairer workplaces and enhance workers’ rights. This will include replacing the National Minimum Wage with the real Living Wage and immediately repealing the Trade Union Act.
We will also continue to press the UK Government to amend the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 to require employers to publish a gender pay gap action plan.