Becoming a fair work nation

Closed 23 Dec 2021

Opened 1 Oct 2021

Feedback updated 19 May 2022

We asked

We asked for your views on the opportunities, challenges and the actions you think need taken for Scotland to become a Fair Work Nation.

You said

We received 97 responses.  Of those responses, 77 were from organisations and the remaining 20 were from individuals. The largest share of organisational responses came from the third sector (22), representative/membership associations (20) and local authorities (10).

Positive support for Fair Work in practice was the most prevalent theme. In the current economic climate, many felt delivering Fair Work could contribute to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. To maximise opportunities, respondents called on organisations and bodies promoting Fair Work to take sector specific approaches and work in partnership with key sectors. The cost of adopting fair work practices was the most commonly identified challenge, particularly for smaller organisations. Respondents suggested a variety of actions the Scottish Government and other organisations should take to meet the ambition of becoming a Fair Work Nation. The most common was for the Scottish Government to provide more support to organisations through funding, centralised guidance, and free training and mentoring schemes.

For more information and support on Fair Work, you may wish to consider the following:

  • The Fair Work Conventions’ Framework offers helpful information on the five dimensions of Fair Work
  • Workers can complete the Self-Assessment Tool, developed by the Fair Work Convention. It is designed to help workers make an assessment of their own experience of Fair Work and suggest actions they can take to improve on it.
  • Employers can complete the Fair Work Employer Support Tool, developed by Scottish Enterprise, in conjunction with the Scottish Government, the Fair Work Convention and other partners. It is designed to help employers understand and fully embed the dimensions of Fair Work.
  • The Fair Work First Guidance offers helpful information for those who are involved in awarding public sector grants, other funding and public contracts as well as those who receive funding through public sector grants, sponsorship arrangements with the Scottish Government and/or are involved in the delivery of contracts.

We did

We have published responses to the consultation where permission was given and an independent analysis of the consultation responses has also been published.

Fair Work is integral to our National Strategy for Economic Transformation. The consultation responses will inform the development of the refreshed Fair Work Action Plan later this year. We will use the consultation analysis report findings and further engagement with stakeholders (including those with lived experience to barriers to employment) to inform the refreshed Action Plan. The Action Plan will bring together work to support Scotland becoming a Fair Work Nation, including our commitments to reduce the gender pay gap and to at least halve the disability employment gap by 2038, alongside our new Ethnicity Pay Gap strategy.  This will enable us to better align collective action across these agendas where there is clear synergy to improve conditions for all workers (e.g. real Living Wage, effective voice), whilst still addressing the discreet structural inequalities that perpetuate labour market inequalities. 

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


We are launching a public consultation on Scotland becoming a Fair Work Nation. 

The Scottish Government’s vision, shared with the Fair Work Convention, is that by 2025, people in Scotland will have a world leading working life where Fair Work drives success, wellbeing and prosperity for individuals, businesses, organisations and society.

Read the consultation paper

Why your views matter

We are on a journey to becoming a Fair Work Nation and we can only get this right with your support and collaboration. Through this consultation, you are invited to share views on the action you think needs to be taken to achieve our vision, and who needs to lead and support that action, considering the challenges and opportunities in your sector and your workplace.

We are also seeking your views on what additional levers and measures should be used to make Scotland a Fair Work Nation, and how we ensure Fair Work continues to evolve to not only meet our social and economic ambitions, but also to respond to an evolving labour market.

The information we receive through this consultation will be used to update our labour market action plans in early 2022.

Read the consultation paper

An Easy Read version of the consultation paper is available. A respondent information form will be made available shortly.

British Sign Language format of this consultation is also available.

A Gaelic language version of the consutlation paper can be downloaded.

Other accessible formats will be considered upon request. To request those, please email:

If you require a paper copy to be sent to you, please email:

Officials will undertake the following impact assessments:

  • Equality Impact Assessment
  • Fairer Scotland Equality Duty
  • Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment
  • Island Communities Impact Assessment

Work on these has already commenced, and the consultation will provide an opportunity for further evidence gathering and to hear the views of, for example, equality stakeholders, to ensure these considerations inform the update to our labour market actions plans.


  • Business, Industry and Innovation