Findlay Unveils Work Rights Charter

26 November 2014, 06:06 | Updated: 26 November 2014, 07:25

Neil Findlay has launched a charter for greater rights in the workplace as part of his campaign for the Scottish Labour leadership.

The MSP pledged to "end exploitation and insecurity'' and called for greater devolution of employment law to Scotland.

The document was launched two days before the Smith Commission is due to report its recommendations on more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Findlay faces competition from fellow Lothian MSP Sarah Boyack and East Renfrewshire MP Jim Murphy for the role vacated by Johann Lamont last month.

He has vowed to end "exploitative'' zero-hour contracts if he is made leader and subsequently First Minister in the 2016 Holyrood election.

Under his leadership, new legislation would be brought in to ensure that everyone employed through public procurement is paid at least the living wage of £7.85 an hour.

Mr Findlay wants the Scottish Parliament to be given power over the setting and enforcement of a national minimum wage, as well as equalities legislation and the operation of employment tribunals.

He said: "The zero hours, low-pay culture we see now is not just bad for people - it is bad for our economy.

"The most equal societies are the most successful societies, so it will be my aim to end exploitation and insecurity in the workplace, and to replace the national minimum wage with a living wage.

"This Charter of Workers Rights is a package of practical measures that I believe the whole of Scotland will welcome.

"I look forward to working with my parliamentary colleagues, the trade union movement and Scotland's public and private sector employers to deliver the real changes which working people across the country need and deserve.''

Also included in the charter is a commitment to equality in the workplace, including on pay and representation on public boards and appointments.

Mr Findlay is calling for the establishment of a Scottish Health and Safety Executive and a new Corporate Culpable Homicide Act "to give families of victims a genuine possibility of justice through prosecutions of unscrupulous employers who put lives at risk''.