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

Francis Stuart, Hartwig Pautz, Sally A. Wright

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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This report presents research findings about the priorities for ‘decent work’ for low-paid workers in Scotland and their current experiences of the workplace.1 The research is unique as it employs a mixed method approach specifically targeted at the low-paid and with an emphasis on participation – it was not research on low-paid workers but research with low-paid workers.

The focus on the low-paid was chosen deliberately because for too many people work fails to provide a route out of poverty. The project involved more than 1500 people who gave their views about what ‘decent work’ means to them. Views were elicited through focus groups, individual interviews, street stalls and an opinion poll. The research focused in particular on people with experience in low-wage sectors or with low earnings and intentionally included demographic groups facing additional disadvantages in the workplace, such as disabled people and members of ethnic minority groups.

The research produced a ranked list of 26 factors which research participants deemed to be most or least important to make work ‘decent’. Using this list,
a labour market assessment was undertaken in order to show how Scotland performs against the factors prioritised by participants. This assessment is based on an analysis of existing data on the labour markets of Scotland and the United Kingdom (UK) as a whole. The report combines this quantitative labour market data with the qualitative research and participants’ quotes to highlight the impact of employment practices on people’s lives.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUWS-Oxfam Partnership
Commissioning bodyUWS-Oxfam Partnership
Number of pages54
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


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