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Fair Work aims to balance the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers and generates mutual benefits for individuals, organisations and society, such as increased participation in work; improved productivity in the workplace, and wider distribution of wealth within local communities.
Fair Work can be defined as work that offers effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect. Fair work can be a significant driver of productivity for Scotland, and contributing to growth that is inclusive.
The adoption of Fair Work practices doesn't have to be costly to employers - in fact, there may be financial benefits to them.
Fair employment and treatment can boost your brand image
Customers, clients, investors, workers and potential business partners usually want to make socially-conscious decisions about the businesses they work with and support. If your business has a reputation for failing to pay staff a real living wage, to implement fair employment practices or treat workers equally, your brand image will take a hit. As a result, you may not be able to make the sales or land the contracts you need, you may struggle to find willing investors and business partners and recruitment can become more difficult and costly. However, when you ensure the fair employment and treatment of workers, you can boost your brand image and position your business as one that people want to support.
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Improve employee satisfaction and retention
If employees feel your recruitment processes are unfair or the way your business treats workers is unequal, you could have a problem with employee satisfaction and morale. This can hinder productivity, leading to reduced profitability, and employee-retention rates are likely to drop too.
By investing in staff training and development, making sure you treat workers equally and consider job candidates based solely on their personal skills, qualifications and abilities, you can improve employee satisfaction and retention. You’ll benefit from a happy, productive workforce that wants to stick around long-term, reducing your recruitment and training costs.
Demonstrate zero tolerance for corruption and bribery
When you act with integrity and ensure fair employment and treatment in your workplace, you demonstrate zero tolerance for corruption and bribery. People should be hired and given opportunities because they’re right for the job, not because of bribes or personal relationships. They certainly shouldn’t be hired for immoral reasons such as the opportunity to exploit someone with low wages or unfavourable working conditions. Having fair and consistent recruitment policies and procedures and making sure workers are treated equally can deter people from entering into corrupt practices or bribery.
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Comply with important legislation on the fair employment and treatment of employees
The fair employment and treatment of employees is required by certain laws and regulations. As well as benefiting your business, fair practices are also a case of compliance. For example, there are employment and labour laws that detail employees’ rights to fair treatment and equal opportunities.
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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 for society.
The enterprise and skills agencies, in conjunction with the Scottish Government and the Fair Work Convention, have developed a tool to help employers understand and fully embed the dimensions of Fair Work. It will support you to take the next step on your Fair Work journey.