WORKERS' rights and fair employment practices will be the priorities in new legislation setting out a revamped relationship between the Welsh Government, employers, trade unions and other organisations.

First Minister Mark Drakeford, speaking in the Senedd, announced plans for a new 'social partnership' approach, with the aim of prioritising the aforementioned issues.

Among the elements in the new approach is a revamp of the way public spending is allocated, prioritising those which can demonstrate they have fair working practices, including not using zero-hour contacts, while also ensuring the best return for the taxpayer.

Mr Drakeford said: “Work to eradicate unfair practices, such as false self-employment and compulsory zero hours contracts which have a corrosive effect on the health and well-being of too many people in Wales is a core priority for the Welsh Government.


"Our drive to introduce fair work will be an essential tool to making working life fairer for more people in Wales.

“In the wake of the financial crash, Wales responded with distinctive and innovative action, made possible by bringing social partners together. Those talks led to agreements and investment which protected jobs and boosted training. This strength through togetherness is what we’re aiming to emulate here.

“We must also be proactive in planning for the implications of a Brexit outcome that threatens jobs and the employment protections that flow from our membership of the European Union.

“We recognise a change in culture and new learning will be needed to make fair work a reality for people across Wales but our commitment is clear - we want to maximise our influence to successfully deliver fair work for all.”

Trade union Unison Cymru Wales, which represents 100,000 workers in Wales, welcomed the announcement.

Acting regional secretary Tanya Palmer said: “Thousands of carers, cleaners and many more and their families stand to benefit from better and fairer workplaces if trade unions are able to negotiate on an all-Wales basis on their behalf.

“The first minister has listened to trade unions who are worried about the explosion of insecure work and the increase in in-work poverty as salaries have not kept pace with living costs. People might be exhausted from a full week’s work yet their pay is so low they can’t afford food for their family and the bills. That’s not the modern Wales we want to live in.

“The Welsh Government’s emphasis on social partnership, involving trade unions and giving people a stronger voice at work is very encouraging. UNISON knows, extending collective bargaining across Wales means it will make it more difficult for bad employers bidding for public contracts to undercut decent employers.”