October 6, 2015 : Jenny Bloomfield

Government to favour bidders who pay the Living Wage

Today the Scottish Government launched its new public procurement guidance to promote fair work. Not the most exciting topic perhaps, but one that will influence how £10 billion of public money is spent. Under the new guidance, all local authorities, health boards and other public bodies will have to at least consider how they might enable the payment of the living wage through their contracts. This is hardly the revelation that we’d been hoping for back when we first started work on what became the Procurement Reform Act 2014, but I suppose it is better than a kick in the teeth.

SCVO and others in the sector were pretty disappointed to see that the Living Wage wasn’t put into the Act as a ‘have to’

So what does it mean? Basically the new guidance encourages those bidding for public contracts to consider how they treat their workers, including how much they pay them. Local authorities and other public bodies who are creating these public contracts are being advised by Scottish Government to look favourably on bidders who treat their workers well. SCVO and others in the sector were pretty disappointed to see that the Living Wage wasn’t put into the Act as a ‘have to’ rather than a ‘can consider’. But now that bird has flown the nest, at least this guidance will nudge everyone in the right direction and help ensure workers across Scotland are treated fairly.

So third sector organisations who are bidding for contracts, make the most of your worker engagement, your secure employee practices and your decent pay packets – it might just secure you that public contract you’re seeking.

Important: Opinions expressed by bloggers are their own and don't represent those of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

by Jenny Bloomfield