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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Fair Work Framework 2016


The Fair Work Convention was established in 2015 following a recommendation of the Working Together Review1. Our remit is to drive forward fair work in Scotland and our agenda is aspirational - it is about fair work becoming a hallmark of Scotland's workplaces and economy.

An aspirational agenda requires a vision. Our vision is that, by 2025, people in Scotland will have a world-leading working life where fair work drives success, wellbeing and prosperity for individuals, businesses, organisations and society.

This Fair Work Framework sets out what we mean by fair work, why it is important, who can play a part in making Scotland a world leading nation in fair work and how this might be achieved. It also acknowledges that, given the broader economic context, there are challenges along the way. In writing this Framework, we have drawn on existing research, examples of good practice and the wide ranging conversations we have had with stakeholders over the last year - which have highlighted arrangements and practices that benefit workersI and businesses and very different examples of insecure or exploitative work that impact negatively on health, wellbeing and family life. We have seen and heard evidence that fair work can deliver clear benefits for individuals alongside higher productivity, performance and innovation for employers.

We believe that fair work is work that offers effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect; that balances the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers and that can generate benefits for individuals, organisations and society.

Our aim is for this Framework to be used by everyone in the workplace to guide practice: to help improve understanding of fair work, benchmark existing practice and identify areas where improvement can be made. This requires real leadership in the workplace at the highest and at every level. For the many organisations and stakeholders beyond the workplace but involved in the wider work and employment landscape, we hope that this Framework will also be used to guide their activities in supporting the delivery of fair work in Scotland.

There are many different types of workplaces in Scotland and there is no simple connection between workplace type and fair work practices. Good and poor practices exist in workplaces without unions and where unions are present. As a Convention, we accept macro-level national and international evidence that many of the important dimensions of fair work are more prevalent in unionised workplaces. We also accept that most employees in Scotland are not union members. The challenge for everyone is how to support good practice and eliminate poor practice. In this document, we have offered suggestions that relate to both unionised and non-unionised workplaces. We have been impressed by the interest in, and anticipation of, this Framework and hope that we have delivered a useful way of thinking about fair work that can make a significant impact in and across all types of workplace in Scotland.

Section 1 of this document sets out our Fair Work Framework. Section 2 provides a more extensive account of the resources we drew on in designing the Framework: the background and context of the Fair Work Agenda in Scotland, existing evidence on work and employment practices, stakeholder views expressed during our consultation and practical examples of how to improve fair work.

We acknowledge that this Framework is only a beginning - the start of a decade long journey towards fairer work, a journey that we believe will reap rewards for everyone who is, or who wants to be, involved in the world of work. We have been heartened by the enthusiasm that we have come across and we will do all that we are able to harness that enthusiasm to our overarching purpose - to make Scotland a fair work nation. We invite everyone to rise to this challenge and to embrace the opportunity which fair work offers.

IWe use the term 'worker/s' rather than 'employee/s' throughout this document as the most inclusive term for those in employment and for those who work, but not under a contract of employment. The term 'worker' includes all workers and employees at every occupational level but excludes the self-employed, except where specifically identified.


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