Report advocates ‘right to return’ to work to achieve full employment in Scotland


Use Holyrood’s new powers to boost employment, researchers say

A REPORT from the Resolution Foundation has found that changes to workers’ rights could increase employment in Scotland by 270,000.

The report, titled The Road to Full Employment, calls for the creation of a Public Employment Service using the new powers devolved to the Scottish Government and follows 9 months of research into employment in Scotland.

One of the changes advocated by the report calls for workers to have a ‘right of return’ for up to 12 months, to allow older workers who have had a bout of illness or other responsibilities to return to employment.

“Securing full employment could provide the biggest single driver of improved living standards over the coming years.” Laura Gardiner

Quoted in the Herald , Laura Gardiner, Senior Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation said: “Typical pay in Scotland has grown far faster than England, though at the cost of slower employment growth in recent years.

“It will need to make significant employment gains in the coming years if it’s to reach full employment, and a new ‘post-crisis’ approach should be at the heart of this.

The report finds that a shift in policy is required away from driving down unemployment figures towards aiding new jobs market entrants.

Gardiner added: “Much of the recent labour market focus has been on reducing unemployment and the benefits bill.

“But with three quarters of Scotland’s potential new workers currently inactive, we need to move to a far more ambitious focus on boosting participation and helping people to stay in employment for longer.

“For young and low-qualified people, this will mean more help in making the transition from education to employment. For many disabled and older workers it will mean new rights to help prevent ill-health or caring responsibilities spelling the end of their working lives.

“Securing full employment could provide the biggest single driver of improved living standards over the coming years.”

The full Resolution Foundation report can be found here .

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Picture courtesy of Richard McKeever