SNP Manifesto 2015: key points on corporate accountability

The full pdf document is available here. Key points:

Pay

We will vote to increase the minimum wage to £8.70 by 2020. We will also support measures to extend the Living Wage across the UK. The Scottish Government already pays the Living Wage to all of its own employees and to those covered by its pay policy – we will call on, and vote for, the UK government to adopt the same policy.

SNP MPs will work with Scottish ministers to help ensure 500 organisations are signed up to the Living Wage Accreditation Scheme within the next year, by becoming local living wage champions in their constituency. And through guidance on procurement, the SNP will work to ensure all suppliers to the Scottish Government also pay the living wage.

For greater equality – we will demand early action on equal pay audits for big companies to increase the pressure to deliver equal pay for women across the UK. We will demand that section 78 of the Equalities Act 2010 is commenced and that regulations to compel employers of more than 250 people to publish annual gender pay gap information, starting in 2016-17, are consulted on and brought into law.

With powers over equalities devolved, we would bring forward an Equal Pay (Scotland) Bill to finally deliver equal pay law that works for women in Scotland. We will seek to maintain the protections provided by the Equality Act 2010 and will ask the government to engage with key stakeholders on potential improvements.

Workers’ rights

We will support efforts in the next parliament to end unfair and exploitative zero-hour contracts, with a time-limited consultation, which fully involves businesses and the trade unions, to agree the most effective way forward.

We believe that women should be properly represented in public life. We will push for 50:50 representation on public and private boards, and ensure that women are fairly treated at work with action to secure equal pay and greater support for working parents with increased paternity leave.

We will also encourage the new UK government to work with the private sector to increase the number of women represented at the most senior levels in our major companies.

We will support the tightening of the law on maternity discrimination, with legislation introduced within the first year of a new UK government.

By establishing a Fair Work Convention we aim to draw on and promote best practice, while making it easier to work effectively with our partners across the business community, third sector and trade unions.

We will press the UK government to work with the business community on mechanisms to formalise the relationship between government, employer associations and employee associations with a particular focus on encouraging wider trade union participation and recognising the positive role that can be played by collective bargaining in improving labour market conditions.

We support increased employee representation on company boards, believing that this can help bolster long-term decision-making and improve industrial relations… We will seek to reverse recent changes, which reduced key aspects of workers’ rights. For example, we will press for the restoration of a 90 days consultation period for redundancies affecting 100 or more employees.

Environment

We’ve voted to protect people from drilling under their homes without their permission, by opposing the Infrastructure Bill, and backing a moratorium on fracking.
 

Tax

We will back measures to tackle tax avoidance, including early legislation to address tax dodging and an increase in staff resources at HMRC. We will put forward measures to strengthen anti-avoidance law across the UK to ensure it is as strong as new Scottish legislation.

We will also support a review of controlled foreign companies’ exemptions and favour a rolling review of tax reliefs as part of an ongoing programme of simplification of the tax system.

We support calls for a global fair tax summit to agree international measures to tackle tax abuses.

International participation

We expect the UK government to participate fully in international institutions, to respect their role and to work with them. This includes the UK fulfilling all its international obligations.

Given the central place of human rights in Scotland’s constitutional settlement, and their importance at the heart of our politics, we will oppose scrapping the Human Rights Act or withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights.