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Decent Work for Scotland's Low-Paid Workers: A job to be done

September 2, 2016

This report presents findings from a unique research project aimed at establishing what low-paid workers in Scotland value as important when it comes to 'decent work'. While recognizing variations for specific groups, the research has identified remarkable consistency in respondents' priorities for decent work.There is a significant job to be done to improve the quality of work which is available in Scotland. However, by ensuring the priorities of low-paid workers significantly inform changes to policy and practice, Scotland can make major progress towards the delivery of decent work for all. 

What Makes For Decent Work? A study with low-paid workers in Scotland

March 8, 2016

The experience of work and its security and rewards have changed significantly in recent decades. Increasingly, large numbers of people experience work which is insecure and which is paid at levels which do not allow families to live above the poverty line. In Scotland, around half of the working age adults experiencing poverty live in working households.This research adapts and applies the concept of ‘decent work' in Scotland for the first time, using participatory research methods. Devised by Oxfam Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland (as part of the UWS-Oxfam Partnership), and in collaboration with the University of Warwick, the research consulted 1,500 people between October 2015 and February 2016 about what decent work means to them. This summary report shows that there was remarkable consistency in people's priorities and that they are not extravagant; they represent what many would see as quite limited expectations, and should be common practice in twenty-first century Scotland. But the research also shows that these expectations are much too often not being met. Decent work is something too many people hope to experience, or experience only partially, rather than a reality in their daily lives.