The Fair Work agenda must have consequences for exploitative employers

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, today used First Minister's Questions to urge the Scottish Government to rule out public support for exploitative employers.

It follows recent revelations such as Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley failing to pay the minimum wage and attempting to justify his employment practices by saying he's not "Father Christmas", and BHS boss Sir Philip Green who sold the company to inexperienced venture capitalists for £1.

Patrick said:

"Recent days have seen further revelations about the extent of deeply unethical business practices. Major names on the High Street stand accused not only of paying poverty wages, but playing fast and loose with their employees’ health.

"The First Minister and I agree that Scotland should be able to make more decisions about employment standards, as the STUC also advocated. But we must do everything we can with existing devolved powers to ensure unethical and exploitative business practices are driven out of the Scottish economy. 

"The First Minister must ensure that the Fair Work agenda has real consequences for employers who exploit their workers, who use tax havens or who have poor environmental performance. The response from the First Minister today was positive but Greens will keep the pressure on to ensure such employers are excluded from gaining any support from taxpayer funded services, grants and loan schemes."