Our plan for Scotland: what it means for workers

The First Minister has set out the Scottish Government’s plans for the next year.

From support for the real Living Wage to tackling gender inequality in the workplace, here’s just some of the action we’re taking in government to create better quality jobs and fair work.


  • We have published a new Labour Market Strategy within the first 100 days of the new Parliamentary term. It sets out our actions to support a strong labour market that delivers inclusive, sustainable, economic growth.

  • We will legislate for gender balance on public boards and promote the voluntary ‘5050 by 2020’ partnership in public and private sectors.  

  • A new Jobs Grant will be introduced for 16-24 year olds returning to work after six months unemployment. And we’ll offer three months’ free bus travel to those receiving the grant, as well as Modern Apprentices aged under 21.

  • We will continue to do all we can to support a healthy future for the oil and gas sector through the Energy Jobs Taskforce, which aims to retain and grow talent and skills in the industry, and support those facing redundancy.

  • We will continue to make work fairer, by encouraging more businesses to sign up to the Scottish Business Pledge.

  • We will increase the number of accredited Living Wage employers to 1,000 by autumn 2017.

  • From next month, all adult social care workers will be paid the real Living Wage.

  • We will use new powers to abolish fees for Employment Tribunals that were introduced by the Tory UK government.

  • We have invested £250,000 in a new Trade Union Modernisation Fund to help unions mitigate the impact of the Trade Union Act. This will ensure trade union reps are not diverted from helping their members by the obligations placed on them by the Act. 

  • Working with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, we will tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

  • We will develop a Workplace Equality Fund to tackle inequalities in the workplace, building on the recommendations of the Race Equality Framework for Scotland and the findings of the Equal Opportunities Committee inquiry into Removing Barriers: Race, Ethnicity and Employment.

  • We will consider a system of penalties for local authorities that have not settled outstanding pay claims or are still not paying equal pay by Spring 2017.

  • A ‘Returners’ project to help women return to work, and update their skills and knowledge, after a career break will be established.

  • The provision of free early learning and childcare will be doubled by 2020, and we will pilot approaches to helping families with the upfront costs of childcare too.

  • We have committed an additional £20 million to deliver employment support in 2017-18, almost trebling the funding devolved from the UK Government.

  • We will provide 26,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts in the current financial year as a step towards providing 30,000 by 2020.

  • We will continue to guarantee a learning or training place to all 16 to 19 year olds not already in education, training or employment.

  • We will invest £6.1 million in Community Jobs Scotland to create 700 more training opportunities for 16 to 29 year olds facing the greatest barriers to work.

  • A new fund will be developed to provide specific support for young people who have been in care to support them into work, training or learning.