Flexible and family friendly working practices and fire and rehire practices added to selection criteria for public procurement

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

The Scottish Government Fair Work First strategy is designed to encourage employers to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces where workers have security of pay and employment, can develop and utilise their skills and have an effective voice in the workplace.    The Government is using its financial power, through the awarding of public sector grants and contracts, to make fair work what it describes as the norm.    Two significant new elements have been added to the criteria that public bodies must consider when awarding contracts or grants: promoting flexible and family friendly working practices and fire and rehire practices.   Public bodies have been advised to start implementing the expanded Fair Work First criteria from 31st October 2021. 

Commenting on the changes, Alan Mitchell, Chief Executive of Fife Chamber, said: “The principles behind the Scottish Government’s Fair Work agenda are laudable.   Providing employees with good working conditions, offering them attractive pay rates, developing them to improve their performance and productivity, and consulting them so their expertise can improve business practices and processes are sensible things for businesses to do as much as they can, which is why so many across Fife already do so.  

“But ultimately, these are decisions that must be made by companies themselves: they should not be imposed on them by Government Ministers or public officials.   Scottish Government contracts and grants provide vital revenue for lots of businesses.  The awarding of such contracts should be linked to economic impact and effective delivery.   Firms should not be excluded from public contracts and grants simply because they cannot adhere to the Government’s Fair Work principles at a particular moment in time.“

Click here for further information on the new Fair Work First criteria.