10 ways that Scotland is a leader on fair pay

Low pay and falling real wages is a driver of increasing inequality and one of the biggest challenges we face.

We believe that workers should get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. But for too many people today that’s not the case. That must end.


Here’s just some of the action we’re taking to tackle low pay – in government and at Westminster.

1. Minimum Wage is reserved to Westminster. So long as it is we’ll fight for an increase to level of the real Living Wage for all workers aged over 18 by the end of this Parliament. That will mean a pay rise for around 460,000 workers in Scotland of almost £5,000 by 2022 compared to today.


2.  Under the SNP all staff covered by the Scottish Government pay policy, including NHS staff, get at least the Living Wage – and has done since 2011. And from October 2016, all adult social care workers have been paid the real Living Wage.


3. From next year, the SNP Scottish Government will end the 1 per cent cap on public sector pay increases, by taking into account rising living costs. And, we’re calling on the UK government to lift the cap for their workers too. This will mean a wage increase for public staff in Scotland working for reserved public bodies, including HMRC and the Department of Work and Pensions.


4.   The Scottish Government has beaten its target of 500 businesses becoming accredited Living Wage employers in the last Scottish Parliament term. And we have now set a more ambitious target of 1,000 businesses by autumn 2017.


5.  The gender pay gap is smaller in Scotland than in the UK as a whole. There is still more to do, that’s why we will require all public authorities with more than 20 employees to publish their pay gap every two years and an equal pay statement every four years.


6. We support moves to ensure business with 150 employees or more publish their gender pay gap, and the introduction of sanctions for those that fail to comply with the law.


7. Companies who wish to secure business with public bodies in Scotland are now expected to pay the Living Wage, not use exploitative zero hours contracts and to ensure their employees have an active voice in the workplace.


8.  Almost 400 organisations have signed up to the Scottish Business Pledge, committing them to paying the real Living Wage and adopting fair work practices such as not using exploitative zero hours contracts.


9. To drive forward our fair work ambitions, we have established a Fair Work Convention that brings together businesses, trade unions, the third sector and government. The Convention has developed a Fair Work Framework, published last year, and this has informed Scotland’s first Labour Market Strategy.

10. Low earners in Scotland are more likely to escape low pay compared to workers in the UK as a whole. According to research from the Resolution Foundation, the share of low paid workers in Scotland leaving low pay was 4.6 per cent higher than the UK average.

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