Fair Work First

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. 

It will be mandatory to have in place appropriate channels for effective voice, such as trade union recognition; and payment of the real Living Wage.  Employers are encouraged to invest in workforce development, not to inappropriately use zero hours contracts, take action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

We are working towards advancing the Fair Work First criteria below. Our aim is to deliver good quality and fair work through continuous improvement. This will give confidence to:

  • the public
  • those receiving and providing funding through the public sector
  • those delivering public contracts.

We can evidence what we have in place and the progress we are making to support grant funding at the application, monitoring and payment stages.

We will fully involve and engage with the trade unions on updates on changes made, to review actions and outcomes and identify further improvements for advancing the Fair work First commitments, taking about of how this will impact on the workforce.

Our trade union representatives agree with our commitments in this statement.

1. We have an appropriate channel for effective employee voice

  • We engage with recognised trade unions in key governance and decision-making structures. These include local consultation forum and the Joint Negotiation and Consultation Forum.
  • We engage with trade unions in negotiation and consultation for local government staff and teachers.
  • We provide facility time to support trade union engagement initiatives.
  • We recognise trade unions across all employee groups.
  • We encourage membership of trade unions.
  • We engage in constructive dialogues for collective bargaining.
  • We engage in constructive dialogue and address workplace issues and disputes.
  • Trade unions are always informed and consulted during policy development.
  • We have zero tolerance for bullying and/or harassment. We have a bullying and harassment policy and trained harassment advisers. They are the first point of contact for staff for a safe and confidential discussion.
  • We carry out regular surveys to understand the views of our workforce.
  • We provide opportunities for engagement with senior management. This promotes a culture of openness and transparency.
  • We have formal and informal employee engagement through a variety of communication channels and development discussions with individuals and teams.

2. We invest in workforce development

  • Our Workforce Plan outlines the programme of work the council will undertake to deliver our strategic priorities
  • Our Values framework helps shape our engagement with each other and the citizens of Angus.
  • Our Code of Conduct helps set out how all employees are expected to behave at work, creating a better working environment for all.
  • We actively provide opportunities for developing the young workforce through apprenticeships, work placements and throughout the full employment lifecycle
  • We engage with government-funded programmes to support local employability.
  • We encourage mentoring and continuous learning at every stage of the employment journey. We offer it across the workforce, both in relation to specific roles and as wider development.
  • We encourage, support and provide opportunities to undertake  formal and informal training.
  • We promote an internal employee recognition programme to acknowledge achievements and contributions.
  • Our health and wellbeing strategy and employee assistance programme promotes  the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of our workforce.
  • We provide support for employees to become champion wellbeing, to offer a friendly colleague contact during times of vulnerability or to help make connections
  • We provide regular governance, equality and diversity training.
  • We create opportunities for our workforce to learn new skills by promoting secondment opportunities within and outwith Angus Council.
  • We are developing workforce development and succession management plans.

3. We do not use zero hours contracts inappropriately

  • Supply and casual contracts are only used when there is no alternative. Workers on these contracts are not compelled to accept work when offered.
  • We do not use supply and casual contracts to fill longer term vacancies.
  • Where possible we will use an open-ended or fixed-term contract rather than a supply or casual contract.

4. We take action to tackle the gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace

  • We make sure we understand and address perceived barriers to employment with the council. We use data to understand our workforce diversity and pay gap position.
  • We support flexible working across the council from the first day of employment. We offer discussions to explore flexible working requests during the recruitment  process through promotion of the ‘happy to talk flexible working’ scheme.
  • We offer many employees the opportunity to adopt an agile workstyle, a blend of working from home and working in a council building
  • We are a Carer Positive employer.
  • We recognise our role as a Corporate Parent. We support care experienced young people into employment.
  • In addition to anyone who has or considers themselves to have a disability, the Guaranteed Interview scheme extends to young people with recognised caring responsibilities, care experienced young people, including care leavers up to the age of 26, employees with significant caring responsibilities, current Angus Council Modern and Graduate Apprentices and Young people who have successfully completed an Angus Works, (enhanced work experience) placement within the council in the current or last academic term
  • We are a signatory to the Armed Force Covenant. We support opportunities for serving members and veterans of the armed forces. We have received the highest level of recognition for our commitment to supporting our armed forces community, the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Defence Recognition Scheme Gold Award.  We offer a range of policies support attendance and work-life balance, including fertility, menopause, transgender and gender based violence.
  •  We are a Disability Confident employer, encouraging the employment and retention of disabled people and those with health conditions through reasonable adjustments.

5. We pay the Real Living Wage

  • We are committed to making Angus a Living Wage region.

6. We don't use ‘fire and rehire’ practices

  • We will carry out full and meaningful consultation when changing employees’ contractual terms and conditions of employment.
  • We will not use, or threaten to use, dismissal and immediate re-engagement practices.