Fair Work First: the approach and what it aims to achieve

Fair Work First is the Scottish Government's flagship policy for driving high quality and fair work across the labour market in Scotland by applying fair work criteria to grants, other funding and contracts being awarded by and across the public sector, where it is relevant to do so. Through this approach the Scottish Government is asking employers to adopt fair working practices, specifically:

  • appropriate channels for effective voice, such as trade union recognition; 
  • investment in workforce development;
  • no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts;
  • action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace; and
  • payment of the real Living Wage.


Fair Work First Criteria 

SRUC is committed to ensuring that we have in place fair working practices and is committed to advancing the Fair Work First criteria, specifically: 


Appropriate channels for employee voice

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​We recognise trade unions across all employee groups for the purpose of collective bargaining.
  • We have negotiating and consultation forums in place, namely the Joint Negotiating & Consultation Committee (JNCC) and Branch Secretaries. 
  • We have procedures and support mechanisms in place to support employees in the workplace and have zero tolerance of bullying and other forms of abuse and harassment. 


Investment in workforce development

  • Development and learning is supported across the institution. 
  • Induction and probation procedures are in place to support employees on joining SRUC. 
  • We have a sponsored education programme to support employees gain formal qualifications. 


No inappropriate use of zero hours contracts   

  • SRUC has a limited number of zero-hour contracts in place for legitimate appropriate reasons.
  • Employees on variable hour contracts have comparable employment rights to all other employees.
  • The number and use of zero hours contracts is reported regularly to the trade unions. 


Action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace

  • SRUC reports annually the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) for the institution and produces an annual GPG report. The report outlines the key actions we are taking to further address the gap.
  • SRUC is committed to valuing diversity and advancing equality of opportunity in all aspects of our activities. We believe that this is fundamental to the development of an inclusive working and learning environment in which all employees and learners can fulfil their potential.
  • TU equality representatives will be given appropriate dedicated time to this work.


Payment of the Real Living Wage

  • SRUC is a Scottish Living Wage (SLW) employer. The SLW is implemented annually in November effective from the date of publication. 
  • In addition, as part of our procurement process contracts with third party service providers incudes a clause to stipulate that they should pay the SLW