Scottish Government
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Workplace policies to be reviewed

Independent review group announced.

An independent review of workplace policies will see trade unions, businesses and academics working together with the Scottish Government to create better working environments.

The review, titled Working together: progressive workplace policies in Scotland, aims to improve workplace policies through effective union and employer cooperation.

Chaired by former Enterprise Minister, Jim Mather, the independent review will make recommendations on:

  • Opportunities for innovation in the workplace which will enhance productivity, workplace development and build more secure and resilient labour market;
  • Existing good practice, the benefits good workplace relations deliver and how they might be more widely adopted and secured;
  • Opportunities to promote collective bargaining, workplace democracy, diversity and equality, including the participation of women.

The review group will report back on its findings in July 2014.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to working with the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and employer representatives across all sectors in Scotland to build on positive working relationship within the workplace.

“Together with STUC and senior business partners, the review will help foster a constructive and collaborative approach to industrial relations, helping create stronger relationships between government, employers and trade unions.

“While employment law is currently reserved to the UK Government, we have made clear our commitment to a partnership approach involving trade unions, employees and employers to deliver sustainable economic growth.

“With independence we would establish new forums for employees and employers to build on best practice and to collaborate on key issues for the economy.

“Through this dialogue and co-operation we will be able to create a direct connection between well-rewarded and sustained employment and promote progressive workplace policies, productivity and innovation.

“We are doing all we can within our existing powers to ensure relationships between these groups remain strong, and this review demonstrates that government, trade unions and employers in Scotland are committed to creating a robust, competitive and effective Scottish economy which is an attractive location to invest.”

Mr Mather said:

“I am delighted to be involved in this work, especially given its sound gender balance, representative blend of private sector, public sector and trade unions, participation of very able people with complementary perspectives and the prospect of genuine purposeful dialogue.

“As a result, I am convinced that we will do a very good job, trigger constructive conversations, learn about what has been proven to work elsewhere and at home and hopefully help foster many more collegiate, successful and resilient workplaces that combine to make Scotland and Scottish jobs more fulfilled and more robust.”

General Secretary of STUC, Grahame Smith, said:

"This review builds on work the STUC is already undertaking with the Scottish Government and progressive employers to expand the role that unions play in the workplace and in the wider economy in recognition of the central contribution that good employment practice makes to achieving economic success and social justice.

“A successful and sustainable Scottish economy is in all our interests. In workplaces across the country, unions and employers are working together to create the conditions that enable organisations to be more productive, jobs to be more secure, workers to be treated and rewarded fairly and engaged in the decisions that affect their working lives. I am hopeful that this review will extend existing good practice and make Scotland renowned as a great place in which to work.”

Notes to editors

Members of the independent review include:

Jim Mather

Grahame Smith, STUC

Lilian Macer, UNISON

Mary Alexander from Unite

Chris Parr, Tullis Russell

Mary Grant, National Express

Sue Bruce, City of Edinburgh Council

Professor Patricia Findlay, Strathclyde University

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