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Legal insights & industry updates

| 1 minute read

Applying Fair Pay principles in procurement decisions

This week is Living Wage Week (marking 20 years of the Living Wage Movement). It has always been an aim of the Scottish Government to use public procurement procedures as a means of generating sustainable procurement on many fronts, including environmental and social issues. The Fair Pay policy has been an aspiration, and now a target, for many of our public sector clients. 

NHS Highland was one of the more recent converts to the cause, promising three days ago to pay all those working at the health board £9.90 per hour, including those individuals employed by contractors. And that is where one of the difficulties arises for contracting authorities, in procurement terms. There are many ways to deal with sustainability issues in a procurement procedure - whether by appropriate selection criteria or appropriate contract award criteria. Award criteria must be relevant and proportionate to the contract. We are increasingly seeing sustainability issues being considered as relevant to contract award decisions by our public and third sector clients, who are looking for fair work practices (including Living Wage requirements) throughout their supply chain/ consortium partners. How to appropriately and legally address such issues is an area in which our clients often benefit from our experience and knowledge.   

NHS Highland has today been confirmed as an accredited Living Wage employer. Their Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at the health board, including regular workers employed through third party suppliers receive a minimum wage of £9.90 per hour.


procurement, public sector