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

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

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

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

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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Fair Work Framework 2016

The Fair Work Dimensions - Effective Voice

Effective voice is much more than just having a channel of communication available within workplaces. Effective voice requires a safe environment where dialogue and challenge are dealt with constructively and where workers' views are sought out, listened to and can make a difference. Collective bargaining can provide the context for effective voice in unionised workplaces and sectors.

Dialogue and structure for consulting and negotiating is key to understanding and defining fair arrangements between employers and workers and therefore opportunities for effective voice are central to fair work and underpin - and can help deliver - other dimensions of fair work.

The ability to speak and to be listened to is closely linked to the development of respectful and reciprocal workplace relationships. Voice is a legitimate aspiration of workers who have an interest, individually and collectively (for example, through a union), in everything that an employer does. It is clear from international evidence that workers want a voice not only to resolve problems and conflicts (which is important) but also to engage and participate constructively in organisations. Voice can improve the experience of work as well as improving organisational performance.

Supportive practices for effective voice include trade union recognition and collective bargaining; task-level and organisation-level involvement and participation practices; communication and consultation arrangements and any processes that give scope to individuals and groups to air their views, be listened to and influence outcomes.

What people told us

Effective voice requires leadership and support from employers, workers and unions. Voice is effective where workers have scope to say what they feel, are listened to and where their voice can make a difference. Workers in unionised firms were more likely to point to these characteristics of voice in their workplaces. This is consistent with wider research evidence that suggests that effective voice is most likely where unions are present, and where management and union representatives have the orientation, capability and capacity to communicate, influence and negotiate. Many workers who spoke to us raised concerns that the current Trade Union Bill would reduce effective voice and perceived it as inconsistent with the aims and ambition of the Convention's Fair Work Framework.

How to improve effective voice at work
  • Adopt behaviours, practices and a culture that support effective voice and embed this at all levels - this requires openness, transparency, dialogue and tolerance of different viewpoints.
  • Effective voice requires structures - formal and informal - through which real dialogue - individual and collective - can take place.
  • More extensive union recognition and collective bargaining at workplace and sector level could address areas where worker voice is absent in Scottish workplaces.
  • The ability to exercise voice effectively should be supported as a key competence of managers, other workers and union representatives.
  • Demonstrate the effectiveness of voice channels and their influence.

VOICE CAN IMPROVE THE EXPERIENCE OF WORK AS WELL AS IMPROVING ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE.

 

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