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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-28093

  • Asked by: Richard Leonard, MSP for Central Scotland, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 7 June 2024 Registered interest
  • Current status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 20 June 2024


To ask the Scottish Government how it engages with rail companies that employ staff in Scotland, and in what ways it expects the Fair Work Framework principles to be applied.


Our vision is for Scotland to be a leading Fair Work Nation by 2025, where fair work drives success, wellbeing and prosperity for individuals, businesses, organisations and society. In the absence of powers over employment legislation, the Scottish Government encourages all employers in Scotland to adopt Fair Work practices and play their part in making Scotland a leading Fair Work Nation.

The Scottish Government expects public bodies to show leadership in that regard, and implement and promote Fair Work First in all relevant procurement processes (and suppliers delivering public contracts).

Scottish Rail Holdings (SRH) oversees the delivery of rail operations by ScotRail Train Limited and Caledonian Sleeper Limited, which moved into the public sector in April 2022 and June 2023 respectively. SRH has responsibility for engaging with its subsidiaries to promote fair work practices . In addition, the Scottish Ministers set out in their High Level Output Specification for the current 5 year railway funding period (2024 -2029) that they expect Network Rail in Scotland to follow the Scottish Government’s Fair Work principles.

Most cross-border passenger railway operators are the responsibility of the UK Government and this level of operational detail is not covered through Scottish Government engagement. The Scottish Government does not engage to this level either with ‘open-access’ operators which include all rail freight operators and rail charter operators.