SNP Manifesto - what Scottisrecruiters need to k
May 30, 2017
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has launched their general election manifesto. In Perth, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon revealed a wide-ranging set of policies which focus on establishing Scotland as an independent nation. They have called for a vote on Scottish independence to be held "at the end of the Brexit process".
With over 120 REC members operating in Scotland covering all sectors, we’ve picked out the key points recruiters need to know.
The SNP states that they are committed to fair and equal rights for workers, and a levelling out of inequality. They claim that SNP MPs will continue to press for full devolution of employment policy, including the Minimum Wage, and would take advice from a newly proposed Fair Work Convention to deliver a workplace policy that is fit for the 21st century, including a full review of workplace leave entitlements. They will seek to:
ban zero-hours contracts and ensure that workers have appropriate rights and protections support moves to increase the Minimum Wage to the level of the real Living Wage increase the rate paid to 16 to 18 year olds and apprentices in line with changes to the rate of the real Living Wage commit to close the gender pay gap and call on the UK government to follow the lead of the SNP Scottish Government by ensuring all public authorities with more than 20 employees provide gender pay gap reports every two years vote for a change in the Equality Act to strengthen and change the law that currently allows employers to have different dress codes for men and women push the UK government to ensure all workplaces provide information to new parents on their rights when they return to work call for the UK government to follow the lead of the Scottish Government by abolishing fees for Employment Tribunals.
The manifesto places an emphasis on jobs, growth and productivity. They will support the extension of the Annual Investment Allowance which encourages firms to invest in plant and machinery, would demand fresh support for the oil and gas sector, and call for an industrial strategy that works for Scotland.
The SNP believes that up to 80,000 jobs could be lost in Scotland if we left the Single Market, claiming wages could fall by £2,000 per person and the economy could face a hit of up to £11 billion a year by 2030.
The majority of people in Scotland voted to remain in the EU and as such the SNP have stated that if they win, they will demand a place for Scotland at the Brexit negotiating table. The SNP will seek additional powers in areas such as employment law, immigration, and powers that would allow Scotland to meet the regulatory and administrative requirements of continued European Single Market membership.
The SNP want a Scotland that is open, outward looking and encourages the best and brightest from Europe, and around the world. They want an immigration policy that is suited to the specific needs of Scotland. They will continue to call on the UK government to guarantee EU nationals the right to remain in the UK. They want to see a reintroduction of a Post-Study Work Visa scheme, to enable international students who come to study to then stay and contribute to society and the economy after they graduate. They will also oppose the recently introduced Immigration Skills Charge.
Setting rates of income tax is now the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament, who in the current financial year, have frozen the basic rate of income tax to help low and middle earners - they have opted not to cut tax for higher rate taxpayers through an increase in the higher rate threshold. The SNP will vote to:
protect the Triple Lock, ensuring that pensions continue to rise by inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent - whatever is the highest support an increase in the Additional Rate of income tax from 45p to 50p across the UK as a whole from 2018/19 not support further reductions to Corporation Tax and freeze National Insurance Contributions and Value Added Tax support the targeted reduction in National Insurance to bring down the costs employers face when taking on new workers.
What next for Scotland?
Skill shortages, IR35 and the Apprenticeship Levy will continue to be ongoing concerns for members north of the border - as they are for those south of the border - but it is the uncertainty of Brexit, and in particular the uncertainty around a second Scottish referendum, that is causing hesitation around hiring decisions in Scotland.
The oil and gas sector has taken the hardest hit in recent years, and the SNP will press the UK government for assurances that the oil and gas industry is always treated as a high priority.
With many of these issues, we will have to wait to see who is in power after the 8th June, what kind of a Brexit we get, and if there is a second Scottish referendum.
Our industry is worth £35.1 billion to the economy and recruiters transform people's lives every day. That contribution needs to be recognised and supported by whoever ends up in power. The next government needs to value the importance of a strong labour market in creating a strong economy. We must have taxation system, a skills strategy and an immigration system that supports Britain’s flexible labour market.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 by:
Neal Suchak - Policy Advisor at the REC
Neal is a Policy Advisor at the REC and is responsible for the Health and Social Care sector group as well as the Life Sciences group. Prior to joining the REC in May 2016, Neal had worked at a political consultancy and the Patients Association; before which he had a career in pharmacy.