Fair Work

A phrase that comes up more and more is Fair Work, but what does it mean and what are the benefits to your business?

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; wider distribution of wealth within local communities.

It’s about creating a culture of innovation and empowerment in staff that are fully supported to reach their potential. It covers good management practices and healthy relationships with staff. 

Benefits of being a Fair Work employer

Being a Fair Work employer in the tourism industry can help to deliver significant benefits – both in terms of individual performance and the bottom line.

By adopting Fair Work best practice in your business, it will help to support your business with staff retention, increased productivity, efficiency and profitability, and has wider reputational benefits.

The Fair Work Framework


In 2016, The Fair Work Convention set out a helpful Framework explaining the dimensions of Fair Work and how they can be achieved. 

The five pillars of Fair Work are identified as:

1. EFFECTIVE VOICE: YOU TALK AS A TEAM
This is all about how employers engage with and listen to their employees. At its most basic, it is about ensuring everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas, and that they have confidence in their employer to deal with suggestions positively and constructively.

2. OPPORTUNITY: YOU SUPPORT CAREERS
Given the high volume of part-time or casual employment in the tourism sector, it is important that employers address the need to provide opportunities and support for all employees. This is about recognising that different individuals may have different perspectives on opportunities in tourism, both within and beyond your own business.

3. SECURITY: YOU ARE CONSISTENT AND FAIR
This is about the rewards offered to employees in return for their hard work. Employers should respect the Voluntary Living Wage, but there are many other kinds of ‘rewards’ that can help shape fair work – such as access to family-friendly flexible working, the offer of sick pay and performance-related bonuses.

4. FULFILMENT: YOU VALUE JOB SATISFACTION
This pillar is about known mutual expectations and staff feeling fulfilled in their work. Employees should expect to be given appropriately challenging work, relevant to their skills and which provides them with opportunities for personal development. It is about delivering job satisfaction.

5. RESPECT: YOU’RE ALWAYS OPEN & HONEST
This pillar is all about recognising personal self-worth and encouraging mutual respect. It’s about the wellbeing of individual employees – but also showing respect for their personal/family life beyond the workplace in particular by addressing the need for flexible working arrangements.

It is about doing what you must do to protect the health and safety of employees – including zero tolerance for bullying or harassment.

Addressing all five pillars of fair work at the same time, helps to reinforce each other, and create a positive and fruitful culture within your business. 

Tools & Support


There are a range of helpful tools, services and events to support your business in the area of Fair Work: 

1. Practical Workshops & Webinars

See what Fair Work training events are coming up this month that could benefit your business.
View events


2. Fair Work Employer Self-assessment Tool

This free tool can help you develop new and improved workplace practices and learn more about fair work. It will help you assess and benchmark your workplace practices against the 5 dimensions of fair work, and gives guidance and tailored resources based on your results.

Scottish Enterprise, in conjunction with the Scottish Government, Fair Work Convention and other partners, have developed this tool to help employers understand and fully embed the dimensions of Fair Work. It will support your organisation to take the next step on your Fair Work journey.
Find out more


3. Workplace Innovation Support from Scottish Enterprise

Our workplace innovation services and best practice guidance will help empower your staff to make your business more efficient, productive and profitable.
Find out more


4. Scottish Enterprise’s Business Resilience Guide

A practical guide outlining steps your company can take to build a stronger, happier and healthier workforce.
Find out more