Money, Security, Relief, Safety, Support


Derek Mackay and Stuart McMillan were both instrumental in saving Ferguson shipyard in 2014.

From Stuart McMillan’s site:

McMillan welcomes new employment research

Stuart McMillan MSP has welcomed new research from a partnership between the Universities of the West of Scotland, Warwick and Oxfam which consulted more than 1,500 people on their views on what factors made for a decent job.  The top five priorities for workers in Scotland were decent hourly rate, job security, paid holidays and paid sick leave, a safe working environment, and a supportive line manager.

Oxfam warned that policymakers are still too focused on increasing employment rates, “without paying enough attention to the quality of work created”.

Researchers found that women value a supportive line manager more than men, though overall there was “remarkable consistency” in people’s top priorities for decent work.

Stuart McMillan MSP said:

“Too often paid work fails to serve as a reliable route out of poverty – that should concern us all.  However this research shows the quality of employment is also critically important to people’s lives.

Researchers said the project had a particular focus on the views of women and men with experience of low-paid work.

Dr Sally Wright, senior research fellow at Warwick University, said:

“This report is the first of its type in Scotland. It not only provides a voice for workers who want decent work, it shows what needs to change for decent work to be created in Scotland.

“Low paid workers want a decent income, but they also want basic protections in their work, including job security, paid leave, a safe working environment and a supportive line manager.  Too many low-paid workers are lacking even these basic features from their work.”

The research was conducted by the University of the West of Scotland-Oxfam Partnership with the support of Warwick University. The full report, including an assessment of how Scotland’s labour market is performing against the priorities identified, will be released later this year.

More information on the study can be found here, with the full report available here. I recommend reading the report: it’s full of stories that I think many will find ruefully familiar.

 “It’s just not enough, how can I pay all my bills and rents and… buy a bus pass… it’s just not evening out… It means you can’t participate in basic things. I’ve got… my cousin’s fortieth birthday’s coming up at the end of the month, and that’s a real issue for me ‘cause I’m thinking ‘How am I gonnae manage this financially?’”
Social care worker, female

“I lost my job today, because… well I didn’t lose it, I just haven’t got hours if that makes sense… and I’ve had no notice on that because I’m agency… and that’s just been told today, ‘Don’t come back until the end of January’.”
Agency worker, hospitality sector

“You put your names intae the hat tae see who’s eligible for Christmas off.  Your name doesn’t get pulled, you work it. And it’s the same people’s name that get pulled all the time, the favourites… I’ve worked Christmas Day for the last three year… Never even got Boxing Day off.”
Call centre worker, female

“Mine [my work] should be shut down for health and safety it’s that bad.That heavy rain we had last week, the roof was leaking onto four of the computers and they just unplugged them at the mains and left them there and left to stand, put a bucket next to it to catching the rain.”
Call centre worker, female

“I’d go in, dae my ain shift fae seven o’clock tae four, go hame for a couple o’ hours, and then go in and cover for an extra three hours because they were short-staffed. And I just did not feel appreciated for dae’in that. But see if somebody came up to you and said at the end o’ the day like ‘Well done, thanks very much for dae’in that’… You’d be like that, ‘Brilliant’.”
Lone parent, female

It is worth noting that many employment issues (minimum terms and conditions, maternity and paternity rights, worker representation, the rules around unions and collective bargaining, and the minimum wage) are still reserved to the UK government: while the Scottish government can introduce a real living wage to a certain degree, it must work in concert with UK legislation – as well as other parties. Joan Cradden, head of employment at Brodies LLP, commented that the meager powers offered in the Smith Commission did not go far enough – though was hopeful that it could lead to further devolution in future:

The changes that have been proposed to date would not represent ‘fundamental, radical change‘ in the employment law sphere, but the introduction of a different fee regime in Scotland may be the first in a series of developments that could further distinguish our system of resolving workplace disputes from the rest of the UK. In the longer term, the separation of the administration could result in more debate about the merits of substantive change, and the underlying differences in the constitution and legal system as well as the political climate will influence the outcome.

The SNP think that the people of Scotland should have full say over employment in Scotland. I agree.


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