Decent work for Scotland's low paid workers: a job to be done
Decent work for Scotlands low paid workers: a job to be done Authors: Francis Stuart, Hartwig Pautz, Sally Wright and Suzanne Crimin Presented by: Chik Collins #DecentWork @oxfamscotland @UniWestScotland @warwickuni UWS/Napier/SDS Career Guidance Research Symposium: Supporting Inclusive
Professional Practice Through Research (UWS, Paisley, 15th March 2017) Outline Background/Context: The UWS-Oxfam Partnership Decent Work The Global and Local Context The Study
Approach/Design/ Aims Findings The UWS-Oxfam Partnership: For a more equitable and sustainable Scotland 2006-2012: Pre-Partnership Collaborations Whose Economy? Our Economy!
2012-2017: The Partnership Policy Forums Student Participation Research and Knowledge Exchange http://uwsoxfampartnership.org.uk/ DECENT WORK: THE GLOBAL AND LOCAL CONTEXT
... offer a vision of the world that I believe people in Scotland share. DECENT WORK FOR ALL UK AND SCOTTISH LABOUR MARKET: EMPLOYMENT
So while we continue to help the worst off, we will also be focused on the millions of people for whom life is a struggle and who work all hours to keep their heads above water. The JAMs
% OF CHILDREN AND WORKING AGE ADULTS IN POVERTY (AHC), LIVING IN A HOUSEHOLD WITH AT LEAST ONE ADULT IN EMPLOYMENT SOURCE: HBAI DATA SET, DWP INTEREST FROM POLICYMAKERS Global UK Scotland
THE STUDY The Approach: The research is unique as it employs a mixed method approach specifically targeted at the low-paid and with an emphasis on participation it was not research on low-paid workers but researchwith low-paid workers. Primary aim: Identify what low-paid workers themselves see as important for work to be decent Create a set of weighted priorities for decent work based
on their views Secondary aim: Assess how Scotland is doing against these priorities WHY DECENT WORK MATTERS
In-work poverty Low-pay, no-pay cycle Low-pay trap Health impacts Business, economic and societal case Changing nature of the labour market headline indicators can mask underlying problems
OUTREACH 30 focus groups - 277 participants 1:1 interviews 18 individuals 11 street stalls - 433 people YouGov online opinion poll - 802 workers
earning less than 20,000 FINDINGS: WHAT DO LOW-PAID WORKERS PRIORITISE? GENDER COMPARISON
1. A DECENT HOURLY RATE Its just not enough, how can I pay all my bills and rents and buy a bus pass... its just not evening out... It means you cant participate in basic things. Ive got my cousins fortieth birthdays coming up... and thats
a real issue for me cause Im thinking How am I gonnae manage this financially? (Social care worker, female) 2. JOB SECURITY I lost my job today... well I didnt lose it, I just havent got hours if that makes sense and Ive had no notice on that because Im
agency... and thats just been told today, Dont come back until the end of January. (Agency worker, hospitality sector, male) 3. PAID HOLIDAYS AND PAID SICK LEAVE Everything is such an issue just to get time off. It really is difficult cause you give a lot of stuff up
cause its not worth the hassle... And then five years down the line you realise thats all you do, is go to work (Social care worker, female) 4. A SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT I have been assaulted at work. And I told my company theyd let me down, and they said No, we
havent let you down I just feel like I wasnt respected at all. I was just an inconvenience. (Social care worker, female) 88,000 people in Scotland reported illness caused or made worse by work in the previous twelve months (rolling average between 2011/12 and 2014/15)
5. A SUPPORTIVE LINE MANAGER They humiliate you in front o people, questioning why you were in the bathroom for too long. Some people, theyre older women in my work, and theyre about seventy, eighty and they get questioned because they take three minutes going tae the toilet. (Call centre worker, female)
CONCLUSIONS Money is important, but decent work involves more than this Low-paid workers in Scotland prioritise basic protections and conditions which people should be able to expect Too many workers arent getting these basic protections and conditions These basic protections and conditions are things Government and employers can address and it is in everyones interests to do so
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT 1. Enhance the powers of the Fair Work Convention 2. Champion employment legislation which protects workers rights 3. Establish strategies to tackle low pay in sectors where it is endemic 4. Use public procurement to incentivise good employment practices
5. Ensure public bodies do not support companies involved in sub-standard practices 6. Ensure City Deals promote decent work 7. Enhance the Business Pledge 8. Do not force people into jobs which are not suitable or sustainable for them 9. Invest in more comprehensive and timely survey data RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS 1. Pay the living wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation.
2. Provide written contracts and report on the use of temporary and irregular contracts 3. Do not use exploitative zero-hours contracts or bogus self-employment contracts. 4. Provide annual leave in excess of the statutory minimum and be flexible 5. Provide sick leave linked to the employees rate of pay rather than the statutory minimum and ensure appropriate support to employees returning to work after an absence 6. Recognise the rights of workers to join a trade union 7. Undertake equal pay reviews and put in place fair pay systems which
limit discrepancies 8. Promote training and career development opportunities for low-paid staff 9. Provide information to new starters and existing employees about sources of support LINKED RESEARCH d
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