The Scottish Government has now published its long-awaited White Paper "Scotland's Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland". The paper contains a number of interesting proposals regarding the future of Employment law in an independent Scotland. The majority of these are at odds with recent changes introduced by the Coalition Government in Westminster. The proposals include:
- Restoring the 90 day collective consultation period where it is proposed to dismiss 100 or more employees (this was recently reduced to 45 days).
- Abolishing the Employee shareholder status, whereby employees give up certain rights (including the right to claim unfair dismissal and the right to redundancy pay) in return being given shares with certain tax relief advantages.
- A commitment to increasing the national minimum wage in line with inflation each year. The Scottish Government state this would result in Scotland's lowest paid employees earning £675 more per year.
- Greater promotion of the living wage and a commitment to attempt to increase the number of private companies who pay it.
- Consultation on a target for female representation at board level in both private and public companies, including a promise to legislate to achieve this if necessary.