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Live Reporting

Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live

    Nicola Sturgeon

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Thursday 22 March 2018.

    In first minister's questions Nicola Sturgeon insists she will speak up for human rights on her forthcoming trip to China.

    Ms Sturgeon was responding to concerns about human rights abuses raised by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. Decision time


    MSPs back the Scottish government's motion from the fair work debate.

    The Tory and Labour amendments were not agreed to.

  3. Economy secretary calls for employment law to be devolved

    Economy Secretary Keith Brown
    Image caption: Economy Secretary Keith Brown

    Economy Secretary Keith Brown says one of the points of this debate was to seek consensus on fair work, which was blown out of the water by the Labour Party's 'overblown' amendment.

    Mr Brown stresses the need to close the gender pay gap.

    The cabinet secretary calls for employment law to be brought to this parliament.

    He says all groups of workers deserve respect, including all the workers from the EU who must be valued.

    The economy secretary says he hopes for conensus on fair work in the future.

  4. 'There remains a great deal to be done'

    Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnson

    Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnson says the expansion of the gig economy and casual work in recent years has made fair working practices more challenging.

    We must not lose sight of the often hard-won rights of workers in the face of many of the positives of the modern economy, he says.

    Since the recession a decade ago there has been a rise in employment but wage growth remains a problem across the UK, the Tory MSP states.

    Mr Halcro Johnston emphasises the UK government's commitment to retain workers' rights currently legislated for in Brussels, noting the UK offers more than the minimum set by the EU in many areas.

    Efforts have been made to promote fair work but "there remains a great deal to be done", the MSP concludes.

  5. Background: Scottish government warns employers over snow days pay docking

    Video content

    Video caption: Scottish government warns employers over snow days pay docking

    Scottish ministers are considering action against employers for docking the wages of staff who could not make it to work because of the bad weather.

    The public was advised not to travel during the worst of the snow last week.

    Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said he had been contacted by people who were facing disciplinary action or potential docking of wages.

    He told the BBC that was not acceptable and he would look at the legal position.

    Read more here.

  6. Labour MSP says precarious employment contracts must be brought to a halt

    Labour MSP Pauline McNeill

    Labour MSP Pauline McNeill says the imbalance in power between employers and employees has to be ironed out.

    Ms McNeill says precarious employment contracts must be brought to a halt.

    She says government contracts should make it clear agencies should not be used unless there is a clear case to do so.

    The Labour MSP insists government contracts should demand the living wage, trade union representation and good terms and conditions.

  7. Background: 'I was forced from my job for giving birth'

    Mother and baby

    The scale of maternity discrimination is being hidden because of the use of gagging orders when women who have lost their jobs settle out of court, experts have told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

    "My boss said if I'm not going back to work, then I'd have to pay back all the maternity payment."

    "Emma" - not her real name - was working as a beautician when she became pregnant.

    She did not realise at the time that her boss's request was against the law.

    Around one in nine of more than 3,000 mothers questioned said they had been dismissed, made compulsorily redundant, or treated so badly they felt they had to leave their job,according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2015.

    This is despite the Employment Rights Act and Equality Act protecting women from unfair dismissal because they are pregnant or on maternity leave.

    Read more here.

  8. Background: Disabled equality 'at risk' in Scotland

    Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour has dedicated his speak to barriers to employment for disabled people.

    Person using wheelchair

    Twenty years of progress towards real equality for disabled people in Scotland could be at risk, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has said.

    The commission warned that a "concentrated effort" needed to be made around housing, hate crime, mental health, employment and education.

    But the Scottish government said the report failed to acknowledge its disability delivery plan.

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it had highlighted several "significant inequalities" in Scotland as part of a UK-wide report into disabled life.

    They included:

    • Disabled Scots are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than non-disabled people
    • On average, disabled people in Scotland earn £1.10 per hour less than non-disabled people
    • Disabled pupils have much lower attainment rates and are more likely to be permanently or temporarily excluded

    Read more.

  9. Background: Leonard: Labour owes Glasgow equal pay women an apology

    Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard

    The Scottish Labour leader has said women in Glasgow City Council are owed an apology for "too much resistance" to their equal pay claims when the local authority was under Labour control.

    Richard Leonard said Labour settled many equal pay claims but there was "too much legal obstruction".

    The party was in power in the city for decades before being ousted by the SNP last May.

    He was speaking to the party's Women's Conference in Glasgow.

    The council dropped its legal challenge in January with cross-party agreement.

    Read more here.

  10. Background: MSPs slam Westminster's Trade Union Bill in Holyrood debate

    MSPs debated the Trade Union Bill despite it being a Westminster reserved matter
    Image caption: MSPs debated the Trade Union Bill despite it being a Westminster reserved matter

    Back in January 2016, MSPs voiced dissent against the UK government's Trade Union Bill.

    The matter was debated by the full parliament after a report condemning the Westminster bill was put together by the then devolution committee.

    The SNP and Scottish Labour were both strongly opposed to the bill, and made efforts to have it blocked north of the border.

    Members lined up to speak out against the legislation, which sought to tighten regulations on trade unions and make it more difficult to call strikes.

    Read more.

  11. Background: MP's bid to ban unpaid trial shifts fails

    A number of speakers in this debate have mentioned the recent bid by SNP MP Stewart McDonald to legislate against unpaid trial shifts.


    A bid to ban unpaid trial shifts has failed despite concern that it hits the "lowest paid and lowest skilled" people.

    SNP MP Stewart McDonald said it was often people who "don't know their rights and can't stand up for them" who are exploited.

    The UK government talked out his members bill in the Commons, meaning it has no chance of becoming law.

    The government said it did not think more regulations were needed.

    But business minister Andrew Griffiths said he was "very keen" to work with Mr McDonald to address the issues.

    Read more here.

  12. Background: Scottish government unveils 'living wage nation' plans

    Pound coins

    Plans to make Scotland a "living wage nation" over the next three years have been put forward by the Scottish government.

    Measures include a regionally focused accreditation scheme for employers to create the UK's "first living wage towns, cities and regions".

    It is hoped at least 25,000 more people will benefit from the move.

    There will also be a drive to persuade more organisations in low-paid sectors to join the scheme.

    The Scottish government backs the "real living wage" of £8.75 an hour, as promoted by the Living Wage Foundation campaign group.

    Read more here.

  13. Background: Glasgow City Council to discuss equal pay with unions

    Campaigners for equal pay

    Glasgow City Council says "negotiation not litigation" will solve the dispute over equal pay for some women workers.

    The council has agreed not to appeal against a court decision last year over the grading system and will now discuss a settlement with the unions.

    The dispute centres on the way some jobs were graded several years ago.

    It meant workers such as cleaners and care assistants may have been earning less than men in jobs deemed to be of equal value.

    Unions welcomed the decision while the council leader said it drew a line under the actions of the previous administration.

    Read more.

  14. Background: Labour market strategy commitments

    Labour market strategy front cover

    Commitments in the labour market strategy include:

    • Creating a strategic labour market group to advise ministers on future developments
    • Up to £500,000 to support the work of the Fair Work Convention
    • Use of new powers to better align employability support in Scotland
    • £200,000 to support for the National Action Plan for Responsible Business
    • £110,000 for the Fit Work Project
    • £10,000 to sponsor of the Fair Work Employer of the Year award
    • The development of a Workplace Equality Fund
    • Continued investment in sustainable physical and digital infrastructure
  15. Background: Minister's Amazon working conditions talks 'productive'

    Amazon has been accused of 'intolerable' working conditions at its largest UK distribution centre in Dunfermline
    Image caption: Amazon has been accused of 'intolerable' working conditions at its largest UK distribution centre in Dunfermline

    In 2016 we reported Scotland's economy secretary held "productive" talks with Amazon after claims of unacceptable working conditions at its Fife depot.

    Keith Brown said the firm agreed to "consider" his request to pay a"living wage" of £8.45 an hour.

    He said they would have another meeting in two or three months' time.

    The minister had previously said he was concerned by reportsthat staff at the Dunfermline site could be sacked for being off sick.

  16. Lib Dem MSP says Amazon would not be allowed to sign business pledge

    Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie

    Lib Dem MSP Willie Rennie says he is pleased that hundreds have signed up the Scottish Business Pledge.

    However he says we don't know what changes the businesses have made.

    Mr Rennie says Amazon would not be allowed to sign the pledge and says it would be good to know if they were going to change their practices to meet the fair work agenda.

    Mr Rennie agrees with SNP MSP Tom Arthur that it was disgraceful for the private member's bill outlawing 'trial shifts' to be talked out at Westminster.

    The proposed law from SNP MP Stewart Macdonald would end the practice of people being asked to work without pay and with no guarantee of a job.

    Despite wide cross-party support for the bill and a public petition with over 140,000 signatures, it won’t be going ahead.