Fair Work Convention Co-Chairs Mary Alexander and Professor Patricia Findlay have written the foreword in CIPD Scotland’s Survey Report Working Lives Scotland 2023
As the Working Lives Scotland report reaches its fourth year, it is rapidly becoming an invaluable part of the evidence landscape on the fairness of work. Building up a time series like this tells a story about the changing conditions of work and the factors influencing it. The Fair Work Convention is grateful to the CIPD for continuing to invest in data-gathering that is critical to ensuring policy interventions are made on solid grounds.
What the report demonstrates this year is that a return to ‘business as usual’ after the impact of COVID-19 on workplaces may be slowly continuing to happen, but this is not necessarily something that should be welcomed. The pandemic threw a spotlight on the places and ways in which work is not fair, and the evidence in this report is that we are failing to raise standards on key fair work dimensions.
The Fair Work Convention has identified five dimensions of fair work: effective voice, opportunity, security, respect and fulfilment. Of these, effective voice can be the key to unlocking the others. Disappointingly, this report shows that the progress made in the past two years in workers feeling that their voice matters has been lost, with a fifth of respondents saying they have no voice channels at all in their workplace. While employers may be facing a range of pressures, now more than ever they need to harness the talents of their workforce if they want to improve productivity and competitiveness. An
absence of voice can never be justified nor accepted.
We are keen to support the recommendations in this report, while recognising that so much is dependent on employers making the first step. An investment in fair work – in time and attention as much as money – is an investment in every organisation’s most important asset.
Mary Alexander and Professor Patricia Findlay
Co-Chairs of The Fair Work Convention