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Devolution of employment law

Published: 28 Oct 2017 00:01

Economy Secretary calls for collective pressure on UK Government.

Trade unions and the Scottish Government should work together to press the UK Government to devolve employment law to Scotland.

This is the call Economy Secretary, Keith Brown, will make later today when he addresses the Unite Scotland conference in Aviemore.

He will say that the two organisations should step up pressure on the UK Government to strengthen fair work practices and defend the employee rights currently protected by EU membership.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Mr Brown said:

“With the powers that we have, we have worked hard to tackle in-work poverty and support people on low incomes. For example, we have prioritised the extension of the real living wage which has helped contribute to Scotland having the highest proportion of employees paid at least the Living Wage of all four UK countries.

“We continue to condemn the use of exploitative zero hours contracts and have set up a Fair Work Convention to support the fair pay and conditions agenda.

“However, we cannot rely on the UK Government to introduce fair work policies which align with Scotland’s inclusive growth agenda.

“I welcome the Scottish Trades Union Congress support for our calls to devolve employment law. We must continue to press the UK Government to reconsider their opposition to this and, as Economy Secretary, I will be taking all available opportunities to do so.”

Mr Brown will also say that the STUC and trade unions, including Unite, are key partners in taking forward our vision, for a wealthier and fairer Scotland.

He will support Unite’s calls for a Brexit that protects working people’s jobs, employment rights and living standards.

In addition he will talk to the Scottish Government’s agenda on the economy, on inclusive growth and how the Scottish economy can extract maximum benefit from the UK’s industrial strategy.