Since 1999, partnership working in NHS Scotland has been enshrined in the Staff Governance Standard, on an equal footing with Financial and Clinical Governance. Partnership working recognizes the fundamental importance of worker participation, consultation and job security for all Health Boards. The partnership approach and the employment relations framework offers the opportunity for staff and their trade unions to be fully involved in the formulation and implementation of change.
Given statutory backing in 2004, the Staff Governance standard supports an informed and participative workforce working collaboratively with employers to improve service delivery in what has been described as "arguably, one of the best examples of effective industrial democracy in the world". Partnership has delivered important security benefits to NHS Scotland employees, notably a commitment since 1999 to no compulsory redundancies restated each year by Scottish Minister which offers security of employment for staff which facilitates service reshaping and modernisation to meet the demands placed upon health care services.
In 2011, the Scottish Partnership Forum decided that NHS Scotland would become a Living Wage employer. This not only helps workers but helps to address issues of poverty, deprivation and health inequalities. The Living Wage is good for workers as they benefit from higher pay, improved health and motivation. It is also good for employers as it reduces turnover, improves productivity and attracts better staff. And, good for society supporting the local economy and ultimately less stress on NHS services.
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