Fair Work Convention

Fair Work Convention Scotland, Effective Voice

Effective Voice

Effective voice is much more than just having a channel of communication available within organisations - though this is important.

Effective voice requires a safe environment where dialogue and challenge are dealt with constructively and where employee views are sought out, listened to and can make a difference.

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Fair Work Convention Scotland, Opportunity


It is a reasonable aspiration to want work that is fair - and for fair work to be available to everyone. Fair opportunity allows people to access and progress in work and employment and is a crucial dimension of fair work

Meeting legal obligations in terms of ensuring equal access to work and equal opportunities in work sets a minimum floor for fair work.

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Fair Work Convention Scotland, Security


Security of employment, work and income are important foundations of a successful life.

Predictability of working time is often a component of secure working arrangements.

While no one has complete security and stability of employment, income and work, security is an important aspect of fair work.

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Fair Work Convention Scotland, Fulfilment


For many people, work is a fulfilling part of their life. For others, work tasks, working conditions and the work environment make work unfulfilling.

Access to work that is as fulfilling as it is capable of being is an important aspiration of the Fair Work agenda. People have different views of what type of work is fulfilling for them.

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Fair Work Convention Scotland, Respect


Fair work is work in which people are respected and treated respectfully, whatever their role and status.

Respect involves recognising others as dignified human beings and recognising their standing and personal worth.

At its most basic, respect involves ensuring the health, safety and well-being of others.

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Case Studies

Tribe Yoga (URBN Fitness Ltd)

Tribe Yoga (URBN Fitness Ltd) is an Edinburgh-based health and wellness studio that opened in August 2015 and employs 6 people. The company provides a range of class based exercises such as Yoga, Pilates and Barre. Tribe became an instant success in Edinburgh, breaking even in its first month of operation, selling out its first weeks classes prior to opening and generating £100,000 in turnover in its first 4 months of business.

Tribe attributes its success to providing fair and stable employment. Following engagement with the Innovating Works...improving work and workplaces initiative at the University of Strathclyde, the business founder decided to try fair and innovative work as a business model. He broke from the sector norm of only utilising self-employed teachers. Where Tribe's teachers provide more than 5 classes per week at the studio, the instructors were given the option to move from self-employment to employee status and all chose to do so, making Tribe Yoga the only yoga studio in Scotland with more than 2 fully employed teachers. For teachers, the benefits include not just stable incomes and hours of work, but access to employee rights and to investment in training and development. All of Tribe Yoga's employees are paid at the living wage or higher. In addition, teachers benefit from ongoing supportive work relationships. As one employee noted: "it's quite lonely being a yoga teacher..you move from studio to studio with little team or client contact beyond your teaching hours. At Tribe I know most of my clients by name and have developed amazing friendships with my colleagues. I'm far happier being at Tribe, and I know it shows in my classes".

This approach has generated many business benefits. Employees are engaged, motivated and team oriented. The teachers take on additional tasks between classes such as social media, events, marketing, reception work and sales efforts adding to and diversifying their skills. Additionally, it appears to have delivered benefits in terms of reduced sick leave and absenteeism. Most important, however, is a far stronger sense of ownership, where employees tackle client and operational challenges.

Other fair and innovative approaches absorbed from the Innovating Works...project impact on opportunity, fulfilment and respect at work. These include: a lattice style of team management rather than a hierarchy; employees designing and selecting their own uniforms; investment in certified training to upskill teachers; having a transparent approach to pay and profitability so that employees know how everyone is paid and how profitable the business is; free access to yoga classes at Tribe to support well-being and peer-to-peer learning; free attendance to yoga events in Scotland that Tribe is associated with; 'mates rates' providing lower cost yoga to friends; and weekly and monthly update meetings nicknamed as 'family gatherings'.

Tribe Yoga is currently in early discussions to open a second facility in Edinburgh and a third in Glasgow before the end of 2016. The company is currently applying for Living Wage accreditation and planning to sign the Scottish Business Pledge. Tribe Yoga highlights the potential of fair and innovative work to generate individual and business success, as well as a high quality service to customers. At this business, doing the right thing simply required a decision to do the right thing. As the business founder notes, "there are no downsides".


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