POLITICS: New scheme to promote fair working hours

23 Jul 2021 

By Lucy Ashton

A new accreditation scheme that encourages businesses to provide secure contracts, flexible hours and payment of the real Living Wage is to launch.

The Scottish Living Hours Accreditation Scheme recognises that in addition to payment of the real Living Wage, the number and frequency of work hours are critical to tackling in-work poverty.

It builds on the existing Living Wage accreditation scheme and businesses looking for certification must meet the following standards:

  • payment of the real Living Wage
  • providing a contract reflecting accurate hours worked and a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours a week (unless the worker requests otherwise)
  • ensuring at least 4 weeks’ notice of shifts and guaranteed payment if shifts are cancelled within this period  

The scheme will be supported by £380,000 of funding and is to be administered by the Poverty Alliance. They will begin reaching out to prospective employers on 1 August to start the accreditation process.

Fair Work Minister Richard Lochhead said: “No one should be working in an insecure, unstable job that doesn’t pay the real Living Wage. Good progress has been made on the real Living Wage in Scotland, with over 2000 employers now being accredited and helping to reduce in-work poverty.  We are going further and will now introduce a national Living Hours Accreditation Scheme for Scotland in the first 100 days of this government.

“Together with the Poverty Alliance and Living Wage Scotland, the new Living Hours Accreditation Scheme will help to alleviate in work poverty and create more secure, sustainable and satisfying jobs. I encourage businesses across Scotland to look at the scheme and sign up to ensure you are providing the best possible work conditions for your valued staff.

“Fair work is at the heart of our economic recovery and it is only right that workers across the country are in jobs that can provide secure, consistent contracts and pay a real Living Wage.”

Poverty Alliance Director Peter Kelly said:  “Building on the strength of the Living Wage movement, we need to be more ambitious in finding ways to support employers to make a stronger commitment to fair work practice.

“By working with our 2000-strong network of accredited Living Wage employers, we will support employers to become Living Hours accredited, helping to tackle the problem of insecure work and in-work poverty in Scotland.”

Further information on the Living Hours Accreditation Scheme for Scotland can be found on the Living Wage Scotland website.

The Living Hours Accreditation Scheme was originally developed by the Living Wage Foundation and is currently being implemented across the rest of the UK. Just like the established Living Wage Accreditation network in Scotland, the new Living Hours Accreditation Scheme recognises the different business environment in Scotland and builds on the network of over 2000 Living Wage accredited employers in Scotland.

One comment

  1. This is a step in the right direction to getting rid of the Zero-Hour Contracts, which are exploitative in the extreme. The SNP Council approve of ZHC. There are around 400 workers employed by the Council on them.

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